First Important Match
Meeting Farmer Burns
Off to Alaska
His Two Greatest Foes
Frank Gotch, Superstar
At His Peak
Meeting Top Celebreties
His Fame Endured
Others' Words on Gotch
His Fame Endured
Frank's death was front page news on sports sections from New York to Chicago, from
Kansas City to Los Angeles. But despite his death, the Gotch legacy lived on: He was
far from forgotten. Here is how the Gotch legend has endured:
In 1924, the Des Moines Register conducted a poll to see what Iowan the state's
citizens admired most, in any field of endeavor. Frank Gotch was an easy winner.
A 1928 poster entitled "Celebrities in the World of Sports" had photos of 88
athletes, including Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Red Grange, Knute Rockne, Jack Dempsey
and Gene Tunney. Frank Gotch was included...even though he had been dead for 11 years.
A 1934 advertisement in Popular Mechanics magazine, for Harley-Davidson motorcycles,
boasted that "Frank Gotch had the power that wins and so does the 1934
Harley-Davidson." The ad appeared 17 years after Frank had passed from the scene.
As late as the 1980s, some Humboldt businesses were still using his name
and photo in local advertisements.
In the best-selling Book of Lists (published in 1977), Gotch is ranked as the
No. 1 professional wrestler of all time. The list was taken from a 1934 article written
by Nat Fleischer, dean of boxing and wrestling writers and founder of The Ring magazine.
Hackenschmidt is rated No. 2.
The Humboldt school district sponsors a Frank Gotch Wrestling Tournament for
kids yet today, and a local kids wrestling club still uses his name.
A ten-acre park south of Humboldt bears his name. The acreage is near where he grew
up on his father's old farmstead. On the large stone marker in the park is an etching
of a smiling Frank Gotch and the following words: "The sports world has never known