Certain athletes are synonymous with greatness in their own particular sport. In professional wrestling, the name Verne Gagne was most often linked with unsurpassed talent in the mat sport.
Born in 1926, Verne grew up on a farm in Minnesota. Leaving home at age 14 after his mother passed away, he entered Robbinsdale High School participating in football, wrestling and baseball. It wasn’t easy for Verne, working many hours before school sweeping and scrubbing a local tavern and beauty shop. Still he managed to win district, regional and state championships in wrestling and was selected to play in the All-State-Football team.
In 1943, Gagne was recruited to play football at the University of Minnesota, becoming a member of the All-Conference Team that same year. Entering the Marines in 1944, he was based at El Toro, California and played on the marine football team. At the time, it was ranked number one in America. Verne was such an outstanding star that he could have written his own ticket as to which college he would attend following his discharge from the service.