(HawaiiNewsNow) - Gentleman Ed Francis' 50th State Big Time Wrestling, a wild and wacky extravaganza, took Hawai'i by storm and dominated local sports entertainment throughout the 1960s and '70s. Young Edmund Francis learned the ropes of wrestling in Depression-era Chicago, touring with the local weightlifting club in gyms and German taverns. In Hawai'i, Gentleman Ed found a new calling, as a promoter offering a unique brand of sport and showmanship tailored exclusively to Island fans. Now, Francis reveals the behind-the-scenes stories of building his Aloha State wrestling empire in a new memoir, Gentleman Ed Francis Presents 50th State Big Time Wrestling!
This large-format, hardcover volume is a must-have for wrestling fans, documenting Francis' humble beginnings, his stable of world-class wrestlers and the ups-and-downs of managing an enterprise built on big men boasting larger-than-life personalities. With his wrestler-announcer-referee-promoter partner Lord James "Tally Ho" Blears at his side, Francis built a huge fan following for his wrestlers - Ripper Collins, Hard-Boiled Haggerty, Tosh Togo, Handsome Johnny Barend, Andre the Giant, Curtis "The Bull" Iaukea, Nick Bockwinkel, Neff Maiava, Chief Billy White Wolf, Mad Dog Mayne and scores of others-all captured in more than 100 images chronicling two decades of Island wrestling mania.
In addition to his storied wrestling career, author Edmund C. Francis has been a cattle rancher in Oregon, an air show promoter and aerial tour guide in California and Nevada, and a sports agent who managed the professional football career of his son Russ. He now lives in Overland Park, Kansas.
The book's co-writer, Larry Fleece, grew up in Hawai'i and attended Kalani High School, Stanford University and the University of California at Los Angeles before pursuing a career in television production. At KGMB-TV in Honolulu he produced many popular TV specials, among them "All in the Ohana" starring Andy Bumatai and "Rap's Hawaii" starring Rap Reiplinger. For the past three decades he has worked in the television industry in Los Angeles.
Gentleman Ed Francis Presents 50th State Big Time Wrestling!
Watermark Publishing is a Honolulu, Hawai'i, book publishing company. Established in 1999, Watermark Publishing has produced many award-winning books-including children's books, memoirs, biographies and cookbooks-and specializes in titles that celebrate Hawai'i's unique, mixed-plate culture. Contact Watermark Publishing, 1088 Bishop St., Suite 310, Honolulu, HI 96813; telephone 1-808-587-7766; toll-free 1-866- 900-BOOK; fax 1-808-521-3461; e-mail.
(ISBN 978-1-935690-24-5) is available in hardcover with dust jacket for $34.95, in limited release beginning December 12, 2012 at selected events and direct from the publisher HERE! It will be available January 15, 2013 at bookstores and other retail outlets and from online booksellers.
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