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|Birth name||James Thomas|
|Born||August 11, 1924|
|Died||July 25, 1982 (aged 57)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Shag Thomas|
|Billed height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|Billed weight||255 lb (116 kg)|
|Billed from||Portland, Oregon|
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.
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
- NWA Canadian Tag Team Championship (Calgary version) (1 time) - with Mighty Ursus
- NWA International Tag Team Championship (Calgary version) (1 time) - with Mighty Ursus
- "The First Black Packers". Retrieved May 30, 2016.
- 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.