Mildred Burke - Professional Wrestling Career

Professional Wrestling Career

Prior to wrestling, she was an office stenographer by day, had outstanding muscle development, and was hoping to become a wrestler. Locally, Billy Wolfe was training aspiring women wrestlers. At first, Wolfe did not want to train Burke and instructed a male wrestler to body slam her, so she would stop asking Wolfe to train her. Burke, however, body slammed the man instead, which resulted in Wolfe agreeing to train her. Wolfe tutored her and realized that she was the prospect for which he was waiting. The close proximity of their training resulted in a relationship and ultimately marriage. Changing her name to Mildred Burke, she defeated Clara Mortenson for the Women’s championship in January 1937.

In the 1930s, Burke wrestled over 200 men, but only lost to one of them.

Despite the riches that her husband earned as a promoter of women grapplers, there was a dark side to their marriage. On the road, Wolfe stood as a father figure to the women he trained and managed, but he also earned reputation as a womanizer. Their marriage was not monogamous, as Wolfe enjoyed the companionship of women with whom he traveled.

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