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Lou Daro (1884-1958)

Louis Elias Daro

Lifespan - 3/15/1884 - 7/11/1958
Santa Monica, CA

Occupational BackgroundCarnival Strongman, Wrestler

Mentor(s) - Jack Curley

Promotional Background - Boston(20s), Los Angeles(20s-30s)

Peak Years - `25-`35

Place in HistoryThe pro-wrestling scene of the 1920s and 1930s was a tense battle between warring factions of promoters.  Lou Daro emerged in the Los Angeles area and rose to become known as the “Czar of California Wrestling.”  While his success was impressive for a fifteen year period, the fall of his operation was an utter collapse.  The Hungarian carnival wrestler and strongman known as “The Great Daro” transitioned to promoting for Jack Curley in Boston.  After establishing himself there, he headed out to the unestablished California scene with his East Coast connections and quickly made a presence.  When the Olympic Auditorium was built in 1925, it became Daro’s home base and it would become one of the most famous pro-wrestling arenas in the world.  He brought his younger brother Jack into the office as his eventual successor.  In the mid-30s, Toots Mondt came in to book for the Daros and helped shift the promotion into a different direction.  He was able to secure top talent from the Curley-Fabiani Trust in the East and  bring the crowds up.  Los Angeles became one of the hubs of pro-wrestling.  “Carnation” Lou Daro and Toots Mondt established Vincent Lopez as their top local star and built up some big matches with Lopez and Man Mountain Dean, Dave Levin and Bronko Nagurski.  Dean Detton was also brought up in the area before becoming a draw around country.  The decline was fast though.  Daro’s health was failing, his boxing promotion struggled, he became embattled with other promoters and eventually became the target of the state government.  The state of California broke up the monopoly that the Daros and Mondt had built.  Competition sprung up in Hollywood, talent jumped ship and the Los Angeles operation continued to struggle.  Mondt eventually sold off his shares and headed back East.  Lou was spending more time abroad and Jack could just never recover.