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Fletcher Carr, a native of Pennsylvania, was the first African American full-time head coach at the University of Kentucky. Carr had been hired as an assistant football coach but chose to coach wrestling in 1973. He had been a champion wrestler when he was a student at Tampa University. For more see Fifty Years of the University of Kentucky African-American Legacy, 1949-1999.
Subjects: Wrestling, Wrestlers
Geographic Region: Pennsylvania / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1960
In 1941, Jack Claybourne won the Kentucky Negro Wrestling Championship from Hallie Samara in Louisville, KY. The following year he lost the title to King Kong Clayton. Jack Claybourne won the Negro World Heavyweight, and the Light Heavyweight Wrestling Titles in the United States. He was a recognized champion in Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Jack Claybourne was born in Mexico, Missouri, according to author T. Hornbaker in Legends of Pro Wrestling. Jack Claybourne committed suicide in Los Angeles, CA on January 7, 1960. For more on Jack Claybourne see D. Burkholder, "Black History Month: Pro Wrestling's Black Stars, Part 1," OnlineOnslaught.com, 02/05/02; Jack Claybourne in Obsessed With Wrestling; and Black Stars of Professional Wrestling by J. L. D. Shabazz.
Subjects: Wrestling, Wrestlers, Suicide
Geographic Region: Mexico, Missouri / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California
Mitchell, Jim "The Black Panther"
Birth Year : 1911
Jim "The Black Panther" Mitchell was a popular wrestler said to be from Louisville, KY, as well as several other locations. He began wrestling in the late 1930s. He was a regular in Southern California. Mitchell was the first African American in modern professional wrestling. During the initial years of his career, he wore a mask and kid gloves, and he was only allowed to wrestle Japanese and Hindu wrestlers. He did away with the mask in the 1940s. In 1949, he fought against Gorgeous George and was declared the loser. There were audience members who felt that Gorgeous George had delivered cheap shots and bad sportsmanship, and a riot erupted at the Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. A rematch was attempted in the early 1950s. Jim Mitchell continue to wrestle until about 1955, he is listed among the greatest top ten Black Wrestlers. For more see "Coda: Gorgeous George Versus the Black Panther" in The Great Black Way by R. J. Smith; Black Stars of Professional Wrestling by J. L. D. Shabazz; and "Jim Mitchell" in Jet, 12/25/1952, p.64. See photo image of Jim "The Black Panther" Mitchell at the Online World of Wrestling website.
Subjects: Wrestling, Wrestlers, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County / California
Birth Year : 1943
Harold Poole was born in Louisville, KY. He attended Shortridge High School in Indiana, where he was the starting quarterback on the football team and a star athlete on the track and wrestling teams. Poole was 19 years old when he won the Mr. Universe competition. The next year he was the first African American to win the Mr. America competition. He was the youngest contender in the inaugural Mr. Olympia competition in 1965, and is the only person to have competed in the first three Mr. Olympia competitions. He has won a number of bodybuilding awards. Poole retired from competition in 1992. For more see 2004 IFBB Hall of Fame Inductees; and J. Roark, "Featuring 2004 Hall of Fame Inductee: Harold Poole," Flex, November 2004.
See photo image at Harold Poole.com
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Body Building, Football, Track & Field, Wrestling, Wrestlers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indiana