Motorcycle Gang Member
After his discharge from the Navy, in the early 1970s, Ventura joined a motorcycle gang based in San Diego, known as the Mongols. In the mid-1970s, Ventura left the gang and headed back to the Minneapolis area, where motorcycles were still very much a part of his lifestyle. During this time, he favored a German Armystyle helmet when he rode his bike.
In 1974, Ventura enrolled at the North Hennepin Community College, where a different side of him emerged. Tom Bloom, Ventura's English teacher at the college, told the Star Tribune, "This action-adventure character—I don't think that's him at all. This lug of a guy—that's a put-on. My sense is, he's emotionally sensitive."
Ventura consistently earned As on his papers in the class, slipping only once to a B. He wrote about James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, and other authors. By night, he worked as a bouncer at a biker bar called the Rusty Nail in a Minneapolis suburb; there he met his future wife, recent high school graduate Teresa Masters.
After playing the part of Hercules in the ancient Greek comedy The Birds by Aristophanes, Ventura dropped out of college in 1975. He had found a new career.