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Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

E is for ED Don George, Wrestler

When Wyoming County, NY discusses its mark on the world of wrestling, Ed “Don” George often comes to mind, a World Heavyweight title holder during the 1920's and 30s. We have two more often overlooked title holders—brothers Conrad and John Albright, wrestlers from the early 1900s. When they began their wrestling careers they took on the names of “Con” and “Jack” Albright, respectively. In fact, it was Jack who “discovered” Ed Don George.

During the later part of 1929 Jack Albright wrestled a few bouts himself at the Boston Gardens, although training other fighters seemed to be his focus at this point in his career. He trained Gus Sonnenberg for the match against Ed “Strangler” Lewis in January of 1929 at the Boston Gardens. Sonnenberg beat Lewis securing the World Heavyweight title. Bout records show Jack was Sonnenberg’s trainer throughout the year, but he would soon discover and train another future champion this year as well—Ed Don George, of Java, NY.

In December of 1930 Ed Don George would come home from California to visit his family having just won the World Heavyweight title from Gus Sonnenberg. The following article about Mr. George is also a reflection on Jack Albright’s skill as a trainer.

Perry Herald
December 24, 1930

Ed George of North Java Traveled Across Continent To Beat Sonnenberg
George’s Victory Recalls Days of Con And Jack Albright, Pike Wrestlers
    Two of the smallest places in Wyoming county, Pike and North Java, boast of three world wrestling championships. When Ed George, University of Michigan graduate, came home from California Saturday night to spend a few days with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward George at North Java, while on his way to Providence, R.I., he brought back the world’s championship in defeating Gus Sonnenberg. Journeying across the continent to meet Sonnenberg at Los Angeles, George surprised the wrestling world by his clean cut victory and for the next few weeks he will be busy defending his title.
     By a rather odd co-incidence George was discovered by Jack Albright of Pike, who won the world’s middleweight title in 1913 and it was Con Albright who in 1911 won the world’s welterweight championship, thus bringing to Pike and the Albright brothers double championship honors.
     There may be no gold in “them there hills” as the Californians would say, but everyone in Wyoming county knows that there are enough problems to wrestle with in the Pike and North Java hills to give any wrestler the proper background to defeat a Sonnenberg, Strangler Lewis or Farmer Bailey. So when Jack Albright began training George it was not long before Canisus college in Buffalo recognized his prowess and later he went to the University of Michigan where he became an intercollegiate champion and now world’s champion. ...


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  1. Visiting from A-Z. Love the vintage picture that goes w/ this post. I wonder if the brothers stayed close or had sibling rivalry issues, like Cain and Abel?

    Maui Jungalow

    1. Actually, they got along great. I have a nice photo of them together when they are like in their 50s.


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