Frank Lewis

December 06, 1912 - August 16, 1998

As a tall, skinny college freshman, Frank Lewis was "a little tired" after six years of wrestling and planned to give full attention to his studies at Oklahoma State University.

But he needed a physical education credit and a wrestling class would provide an easy grade. Members of the class were required to compete in the all-college intramurals and when he failed to win the championship his pride was stung. He decided to concentrate on wrestling again.

Frank Lewis concentrated so well that he became a national champion and the gold medalist in the 1936 Olympic Games at Berlin.

A state high school champ and four-time medalist from 100 to 155 pounds, he possessed the raw talent from which coach Edward C. Gallagher could mold a winner. But because of his rapid growth, the youngster didn't have the stamina to wrestle the longer college matches. And because of a minor heart condition, his coach had to devise a special training routine to build stamina without putting a strain on his health.

Despite these difficulties, he established a collegiate record of 45-5, winning the NCAA title in 1935 after placing second the year before. Both years he contributed vital points to the Cowboys' team trophies.

In 1935, he won the National AAU crown and became the first contestant to be officially recognized as outstanding wrestler of a National AAU tournament, receiving a gold watch for this honor. A year later, he swept undefeated through the series of Olympic trials, then defended his position against his alternate on the boat to Europe.

In the Games, he scored a fall the first day, another the second day. He wrestled three times the third day, but stamina no longer was a problem and two more falls offset a narrow loss to Tur Andersson of Sweden as Frank Lewis became the only American to win a championship.

As a wrestler of ultimate achievement and a lifelong example of perseverance and dedication to goals, Frank Wiatt Lewis is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Awards:

Year
1979
Award
Distinguished Members
Chapter/Region
National

All American Awards:

Season
1935
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
155
Place
1
Season
1934
School
Oklahoma State
Tournament
Division I
Weight
155
Place
2

College Season Records:

Season
1935
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Senior
Bouts
12
Wins
11
Losses
1
Ties
0
Falls
5
Win PCT.
91.67
Place
1st
Season
1934
School
Oklahoma State
Class
Junior
Bouts
11
Wins
8
Losses
3
Ties
0
Falls
4
Win PCT.
72.73
Place
2nd
Season
Career
Bouts
23
Wins
19
Losses
4
Ties
0
Falls
9
Win PCT.
82.61

Our Mission: To honor the sport of wrestling by preserving its history, recognizing extraordinary individual achievements, and inspiring future generations