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Man Mountain Dean (1891-1953)

Real NameFrank Simmons Leavitt,

Lifespan - 6/30/1891 - 5/29/1953

?'?" 317 lbs. - Norcross, GA

Athletic BackgroundFootball, Boxing

Teacher(s) - n/a

AliasesSoldier Leavitt, Stone Mountain Leavitt

Peak Years1930s

Place in HistoryFrank Leavitt served in Europe during both World Wars and under General Pershing along the Mexican border, he starred in a number of movies, he ran for a seat in the Georgia state house, he acquired a college degree in journalism at the age of sixty and yet he is remembered best for his famous hillbilly pro-wrestling persona. After runs with the handles “Soldier” and “Stone Mountain,” the massive grappler took his wife’s last name and became the first widely known “Man Mountain” in pro-wrestling. Although he was plodding in the ring and lacked technique, Dean was a quality performer. His girth was unusual at that time and he quickly rose to the top of cards taking on the best of that era.  Pro-wrestling and the country were not at their best though and Man Mountain Dean and many of his contemporaries are not remembered as fondly as those before and after them.  He was a blubbery hillbilly whose gift for ballyhoo made him a popular character for newspaper writers at the time.  Dean’s battles with men like Jumping Joe Savoldi, Sandor Szabo and most notably Jim Londos drew well at that time. His bearded giant look adopted from stunt work done for a film about Henry VIII and his big country boy persona became influential as well.  A number of hillbillies from Haystacks Calhoun and Plowboy Frazier to the Scufflin’ Hillbillies and the Godwinns have taken much of their acts from Man Mountain Dean.  He was a man who led a fascinating life and is one of the under-appreciated pioneers of the showmanship in the sport.