September 25, 1914 - April 29, 2006
He changed the face of wrestling, and with that bold stroke John Vaughan gave the United States a chance to compete on even terms with the rest of the world. From his days of collegiate competition through the course of a spectacular business career, he has been one of the sport's most intense boosters, with an unbridled enthusiasm for wrestling.
His biggest impact on the sport came in 1988, when he began underwriting cash awards for USA wrestlers winning medals in the Olympic Games, World Championships and other major events. With additional support from the Team USA program, the nation's top wrestlers now are able to remain active for many "extra" years. Many of their talented predecessors were forced into early retirement for purely economic reasons.
Vaughan has been a quiet supporter of programs at Indiana, Ohio State, Ohio U, Case Western Reserve, Michigan, Oklahoma State, the U. S. Association for Blind Athletes and particularly USA Wrestling. He and his wife Helen are national sponsors of Greco-Roman Team USA.
He established the endowment fund of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and has served as president and chairman of the Hall of Fame, as a director of USA Wrestling and as a member of the marketing commission of the International Wrestling Federation (FILA).
Vaughan enjoyed three outstanding seasons in the mid-1930s at Case Tech. He was undefeated as a junior and senior, and continued to compete for a YMCA team in Cleveland until World War II.
He obtained his degree in electrical engineering and launched his business career by earning 10 U. S. patents in electric control systems and induction melting furnaces. He purchased his first company, an equipment manufacturer for restaurant kitchens, in 1952, and created the diversified Alco Standard Corporation in 1965.
In recognition of his enthusiastic support of wrestling, and the courage to turn the sport in a new direction, John Thomas Vaughan is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.