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Bruce Baumgartner Biography

Collegiate Wrestler, Perennial Champion, Athletic Honors, Chronology, Awards And AccomplishmentsCONTACT INFORMATION


American wrestler

Amateur freestyle wrestler Bruce Baumgartner won the U.S. national championship seventeen times in as many years. An eight-time Midlands Champion, he medalled at four Olympic Games, from 1984-96, earning gold medals in two. After winning the World Cup Championship in 1997 for the eighth time, he retired from competition. In 2002 Baumgartner was named to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Bruce Robert Baumgartner was born on November 2, 1960, the second son of Robert Sr., a diesel mechanic, and Lois Baumgartner of Haledon, New Jersey. A late bloomer by some standards, Baumgartner was a humdrum athlete and an unimpressive student at Haledon's Manchester Regional High School. As a child he was not much interested in watching television and was too large to play peewee football. Disinterested in Little League, he finally turned to wrestling for lack of other options. At 190 pounds in the ninth grade, his exceptional size worked to his advantage on the mats, and by senior year he had progressed to third place in the statewide freestyle wrestling standings.


Address: 12765 Forrest Drive, Edinboro, PA 16412. Fax: (814) 734-4475. Phone: (814) 732-2776. Email: bruce@brucebaumgartner.com. Online: www.brucebaumgartner.com/.



"Bruce Baumgartner." Contemporary Newsmakers 1987, Issue Cumulation. Detroit: Gale Group, 1988.


Christian Science Monitor (March 8, 1996): 13.

Christian Science Monitor (July 23, 1996): 12.

Sports Illustrated (October 20, 1986): 78.

Sports Illustrated (July 22, 1997): 118.

Time (Summer 96 Special Issue): 80.

Sketch by G. Cooksey

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsWrestling