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Yukon Eric (1916-1965)

Real NameEric Holmback
Lifespan - 4/22/1916 - 1/16/1965
6'1" 232 lbs. - Monroe, WA

Athletic BackgroundFootball [University of Washington]

Teacher(s) - Man Mountain Dean

Professional Background - n/a

AliasesEric Holmback

Peak Years`54 - `58

Place in HistoryPro-wrestling has a long history of barnstorming acts that traveled to country and drew crowds and brought in money before heading off when their appeal being drying up.  It is that special attraction element that worked perfectly during the territorial era of pro-wrestling when a notable act could jump from place to place and make a good living.  While people tend to think of giants, midgets and such, there were a great many gimmick type wrestlers who practiced this same approach.  Some were simply limited journeyman, but of these perhaps none was more successful than Yukon Eric.  Eric Holmback was an hulking physical specimen out of Washington state who was doing weightlifting exhibitions long before breaking into the sport.  Despite his later reputation as being rude and standoffish, he often worked hard to preserve his character.  That carefully crafted and developed persona was that of a clean-living outdoors-man like Grizzly Adams or Kit Carson.  Tales of Yukon Eric turning down a beer in favor of milk and traveling around with any number of dogs are not all ballyhoo.  Holmback was an incredible sight with a massive chest and amazing strength that played well into his rugged character.  Yukon Eric’s costuming was memorable as well with dungarees held up by a rope, a flannel shirt and often a fringed suede coat, it all created a legitimacy. In the early 1950s, Yukon Eric’s name became one of the biggest in Canada when a misplaced kneedrop by Killer Kowlaski ripped Eric’s ear off.  The incident led to numerous rematches, including the first televised pro-wrestling match in Canada.  He mainly worked around Toronto during his heydays, often partnering with top babyface Whipper Watson.  In the 1960s, Yukon Eric headed to Florida where personal problems led him to suicide in 1966.