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Henri DeGlane (1902 - 1975)

Real NameHenri DeGlane
Lifespan - 6/22/1902 - ?/?/1975
??? - Paris, France

Athletic BackgroundGreco-Roman Wrestling [1924 Olympics - Gold Medal]

Teacher(s) - n/a

Aliases - none

Peak Years - 1930s

Place in HistoryAlthough Europe has produced some of the best pro-wrestlers in all eras, France is seldom considered a hot bed of wrestling.  While Eduoard Carpentier and Andre the Giant were top stars in their eras, their success and legacy simply does not compare with Henri DeGlane’s.  One of the very few gold medalists in amateur wrestling who found professional success, DeGlane is still remembered for his success in that realm to this day.  Boston promoter Paul Bowser brought him over and pushed him strongly in the Northeastern United States and Quebec with his legit credentials and unique heritage. Ethnic makeup was a key component in creating stars and French-Canadians accepted the Olympian as an adopted son.  Given a monster push like many of Bowser’s charges, DeGlane soon found himself in an unenviable position in 1931.  Ed “Strangler” Lewis had taken Paul Bowser’s version of the World Championship off Ed Don George and DeGlane was supposed to get it back into the fold. He and Lewis split a fall apiece when, in the third fall, DeGlane claimed Lewis had bitten him. After a disqualification, DeGlane was named the new World Champion, although the manner in which he acquired tainted his legacy. DeGlane, known to be selfish and limited in the ring, was not Bowser’s prime choice for champion as was made evident when dropped the belt to Ed Don George. DeGlane continued to be a persistent challenger to Bowser’s various champions and he helped draw huge crowds in matches against Gus Sonnenburg, Jim Browning and his rival Ed Don George. He returned to Europe and toured France and elsewhere in the 1950s.  While Henri DeGlane is one of the few Gold Medalist wrestlers to become a successful pro-wrestler, his true time on top of the heap was quite brief and the blemish of the “Battle of the Bite” has been and always be attached to his name.