|Birth name||Dorrance Wilhelm Funk|
|Born||(1919-05-04)May 4, 1919
|Died||June 3, 1973(1973-06-03) (aged 54)
|Alma mater||Indiana State University|
|Spouse(s)||Dorothy Culver Funk (divorced)
Betty Funk (his death)
|Children||3; including Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Dory Funk
Dory Funk Sr.
|Billed height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Billed weight||230 lb (100 kg)|
|Debut||June 16, 1943|
|Retired||April 26, 1973|
Dorrance Wilhelm Funk (May 4, 1919 – June 3, 1973) was an American professional wrestler. He is the father of wrestlers Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk, and was the promoter of the Amarillo, Texas-based Western States Sports promotion.
Life and career
Funk was born in Hammond, Indiana, the son of Emma E. (Gust) and Adam Funk. He was an Indiana high school state champion amateur wrestler for three years at Hammond High School in Hammond, Indiana, as well as an Indiana State University Amateur Athletic Union champion for one year.
Funk began his career as a professional wrestler after serving in the United States Navy during World War II, starting in the southwest United States. He wrestled primarily in the Texas territories and the Central States territories during his career. Mainly a junior heavyweight, he fought Iron Mike DiBiase, Mike Clancy, Danny Hodge and Verne Gagne. After Dory Jr. won the NWA Heavyweight championship in 1969 he was at ringside for many of his son's title defences.
After retirement he began promoting Western States Sports with Doc Sarpolis in Amarillo, Texas, where he led a thriving wrestling scene which produced many stars, including his sons Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk, as well as Stan Hansen, Harley Race, Gene Kiniski, Tully Blanchard, Ted DiBiase, Tito Santana, Bruiser Brody, Jumbo Tsuruta and Genichiro Tenryu. Many of his wrestlers had played football at West Texas State University in nearby Canyon, Texas. Funk had a good business relationship with All Japan Pro Wrestling founder Shohei Baba, which led Funk's talent pool to useful international experience.
Funk died on June 3, 1973 at the age of 54 of a heart attack while demonstrating a wrestling hold at his home to a visitor. He was buried at Dreamland Cemetery in Canyon, Texas.
On July 15, 2006, Funk was inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame at the International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Newton, Iowa. The award was accepted by Terry.
Championships and accomplishments
- Championship Wrestling from Florida
- George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2006
- National Wrestling Alliance
- NWA All-Star Wrestling
- NWA Pacific Coast Tag Team Championship (Vancouver version) (2 times) - with Lou Thesz (1) and Pancho Pico (1)
- Western States Sports
- NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Texas version) (2 times)
- NWA North American Heavyweight Championship (Amarillo version) (17 times)
- NWA North American Tag Team Championship (Amarillo version) (7 times) - with Bob Geigel (1), Dick Hutton (1) and Ricky Romero (5)
- NWA Southwest Junior Heavyweight Championship (8 times)
- NWA Southwest Tag Team Championship (4 times) - with Cowboy Carlos (2) and Bob Geigel (2)
- NWA Western States Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
- NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- "Dory Funk Sr". Obsessed With Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- The Guardian: The Texas boys were beaten, abused, raped. Now all they want is an apology https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/20/texas-cal-farleys-boys-ranch-stories
- "Hall of Fame Inductions Report: Bret Hart, Larrry Hennig, Mike DiBiase, Dory Funk Sr., Bop Roop". PWTorch. July 6, 2006. Retrieved August 27, 2018.