In the early 20th century, one man ruled the tough world of professional wrestling -- Frank Gotch. Learning the ferocious craft of catch-as-catch-can wrestling under the tutelage of catch wrestling master Martin "Farmer" Burns and in regular, brutal bouts in the ring, Gotch went on to dominate the sport and become one of the most famous sports figures in the world.
The Life and Legacy of Frank Gotch chronicles Gotch’s rise to the pinnacle of the wrestling world before his untimely death in 1917. It provides little-known details about his earliest matches, his trip to Alaska to hone his wrestling skills, his training under Farmer Burns, his harshly instructive contests with the fierce Tom Jenkins and his two epic bouts against the "Russian Lion," the great George Hackenschmidt. Author Mike Chapman offers intriguing speculation about how Gotch may have matched up against some of the other top wrestlers of all time, and he has unearthed fascinating accounts from wrestling legends, promoters and sports writers, during and after the Gotch era, who all weigh in on why Gotch was the greatest of them all. Close to 80 photos, many of which are being published for the first time in nearly a century, round out this portrait of one of the most influential figures in the history of professional wrestling.
Mike Chapman has spent more than 40 years writing about the sport of wrestling on various levels and has been named National Wrestling Writer of the Year in amateur wrestling five times. He created WIN magazine, the amateur sport’s top publication, in 1995, and has written over 600 columns on wrestling. He is the author of 19 books, 13 of them about wrestling. He is the founder and executive director of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, a facility that is dedicated to preserving the history of amateur and professional wrestling.