The International Wrestling Institute and Museum is honored to have its professional wing named for two legendary professional champions – George Tragos and Lou Thesz.
George Tragos won many amateur titles in Greece and competed on two Olympic teams for his native land. He moved to the United States in the late 1920s where he combined his love of competing with his desire to teach and coach.
For many years, George Tragos coached young men and traveled to Midwest as a “true” professional wrestler. He earned a well-deserved reputation as a “hooker” – a wrestler who can terminate a match at about any moment with a joint lock, submission type move.
Tragos served as a coach for the University of Missouri wrestling team for several years, and then resigned to concentrate on the professional side of the sport. Among the many wrestlers he worked with was a young man by the name of Lou Thesz, who was destined to become his most famous pupil.
George Tragos was a great wrestler and a great human being,” said Lou Thesz. “I’ve learned more from him, about life as well as wrestling, than I could ever possibly repay. It is a great honor to have my name along side his.”