Shag Thomas

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Shag Thomas
Shag Thomas.jpg
Birth nameJames Thomas
Born(1924-08-11)August 11, 1924
Columbus, Ohio
DiedJuly 25, 1982(1982-07-25) (aged 57)
Portland, Oregon
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Shag Thomas
King Toby
Billed height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Billed weight255 lb (116 kg)
Billed fromPortland, Oregon

Shag Thomas (born James Thomas, August 11, 1924 – July 25, 1982) was an American professional wrestler during the 1950s and 1960s. He was one of the few African-American wrestlers of his day.

Football career[edit]

Thomas was a World War II veteran and member of the 1950 Rose Bowl champion Ohio State Buckeye squad that entered that game at 6-1-2 (number 6 in the AP poll). In July 1950, he signed a contract with the Green Bay Packers and appeared in pre-season games that year, but was cut prior to the final exhibition game.[1]


Born in Stewartsville, Ohio, Thomas began wrestling during a time when segregation in professional wrestling was still taking place in some territories and promotions throughout the United States. He gained prominence while wrestling in the NWA Pacific Northwest Territory for promoter Don Owen. Owen did not segregate his wrestlers, and Thomas flourished there winning the Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship twice and the Tag Team Championship 16 times.

Thomas retired in 1969 after defeating Roger Kirby by disqualification in his final match. After retirement he refereed wrestling matches until 1972 when he briefly came out of retirement to battle the Royal Kangaroos.


Thomas died of a heart attack on July 25, 1982.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


  1. ^ "The First Black Packers". Retrieved May 30, 2016.
  2. ^ Hoops, Brian (January 15, 2019). "Pro wrestling history (01/15): Big John Studd wins 1989 Royal Rumble". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved January 18, 2019.

External links[edit]