Dory Funk, Sr. was a skilled amateur wrestler and all-around athlete before turning to the professional game in the late 1940s. A high school state champion in Indiana, Funk wrestled for the legendary coach Billy Thom at Indiana University prior to serving with the military in World War II
After the war, Funk embarked upon a long career that earned him many titles and vast recognition, both in and out of the ring. He won the NWA Junior Heavyweight title in 1958, and was also North American heavyweight champion on numerous occasions. He teamed with several stars, including Tragos/Thesz hall of famers Lou Thesz, Dick Hutton and Bob Geigel, the capture major tag-team titles.
In the 1950s, Dory served as superintendent and football coach at a boys ranch in Amarillo, Texas, in an effort to help underpriviledged children. His sons, Dory Jr. and Terry, were both legendary champions in their own right, both holding the world heavyweight title for long periods.
Dory Sr. died of a heart attack in 1973 at his home in Amarillo. He left behind a legacy of great wrestling matches and as a man who was generous in his support of others.