National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Inductee: Pat O’Connor

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A native of New Zealand , where he was a rugby player and amateur mat champion, O’Connor came to America in the early 1950s and wrestled out of the Minnesota territory. Due to his rugged good looks and flashy ring style, he became one of the most popular wrestlers of his era.

Pat defeated Dick Hutton on January 9, 1959 , to become NWA world heavyweight champion. He held the title for nearly two years before losing it to Buddy Rogers, in front of a crowd of 41,000 Chicago .

He went on to win the AWA world tag-team title with Wilbur Snyder and was also American heavyweight champion for a period. He continued to wrestle well into the 1980s and had over 4000 matches to his credit. He was also a trainer and booker out of the Kansas City office, working with hall of famer Bob Geigel.

Pat died August 15, 1990 . He is fondly remembered as one of the top stars of the 1950s-60s era.