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Stu Hart

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Biography published in 2002



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Stu Hart

Wrestler, patriarch of the wrestling clan, and for decades the promoter of Stampede Wrestling in Calgary. Born in Saskatchewan. Played football for the Edmonton Eskimos in the late 1930s. Began wrestling in the 1940s. New York promoter Toots Mondt brought him and Sandor Kovacs to the U.S. after World War II. Frequently wrestled in a tag team with Lord James Blears in 1947.

Began promoting in Edmonton in 1948, and moved to Calgary in the late 1950s. Was a member of the NWA.

Continued to wrestle full-time into the 1960s, with occasional appearances as a wrestler in Calgary in the 1970s. I can remember him executing a vault over the top rope into a sunset flip when he was in his mid-50s. Made one appearance in 1986 at age 70, wrestling with son Keith against Wayne Farris (Honkytonk Man) and John Foley.

Retired after selling Stampede Wrestling to Vince McMahon in 1984, but revived the promotion a year later. The promotion wound down in 1989 but was re-started in the 1990s by Hart's sons.

Respected around the world as a trainer of young wrestling talent. Many wrestlers on the Canadian Pro Wrestling Page of Fame, including Archie Gouldie, the Mills Brothers, Chris Benoit, Rick Martel, and, of course, Bret Hart and Owen Hart spent significant parts of their careers training with and wrestling for Stu Hart.

Stu's 80th birthday was celebrated in December 1995 with a special "Night to Remember" event at the Stampede Corral. Among the people in attendance were Ed Whalen, Dan Kroffat, Angelo Mosca, Leo Burke, the Hart Brothers and Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk.

In 2001, Hart was made an Member of the Order of Canada and received the Iron Mike Mazurki award from the Cauliflower Alley Club.

He died in October 2003 at age 88.

"He loves to develop youngsters eager to wrestle. If they show any signs of promise, Stu teaches them the art of wrestling and gives them their start." (From NWA OFFICIAL WRESTLING, March 1952)

"Best match of the night from a real wrestling point of view was staged by Tarzan White, Alabama football star, and Stu Hart, pride and joy of Edmonton, Alberta. They wrestled to a 45-minute draw in a clean-breaking, orthodox battle in which brute strength in breaking holds was the main factor." (From THE RING, April 1952)


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