Christos Theofilou or Christopher Theophelus (Greek: Χρήστος Θεοφίλου) (January 2, 1897 – August 19, 1975) better known as "The Golden Greek" Jim Londos, was a professional wrestler who was one of the most popular stars wrestling offered during the Great Depression.
"What a man!
What an artist!"
The New Yorker
Jim Londos was born Christos Theofilou in 1897 in Argos, Greece. as the youngest of thirteen children. At age thirteen he ran away from home and eventually ended up immigrating to the United States. Working whenever he could, Theofilou took several odd jobs including cabin boy, construction jobs and posing nude for figure drawing classes. Theofilou landed a job as a catcher in a carnival acrobatic act. It was during this period that he was exposed to professional wrestling and began training.
Londos' first matches would be as "The Wrestling Plasterer" Christopher Theophelus, a gimmick that saw him coming to the ring in overalls. After a number of years he dropped this in favour of wrestling under the name Jim Londos and being a no nonsense wrestler.
To compensate for his lack of wrestling ability, Londos was well known for his good looks and his well muscled physique. He capitalized on this by having himself matched up against the ugliest opponents he could find. This promotional tactic worked very well and Londos became one of the most popular wrestlers in the 1930s and early 40's.
Considered to be a national hero in Greece, Londos once drew a crowd estimated to be made of nearly 100,000 fans to see one of his matches when he traveled there.
Londos retired in 1946 and would spend the remainder of his life working for charitable organizations. His favorite charities dealt with Greek war orphans of the Second World War. He was honored by both U.S. President Richard Nixon and King Paul of Greece for his various philanthropic efforts outside the ring.
Londos died of a heart attack August 19, 1975 and is buried at Oak Hill Memorial Park in Escondido, California.
Championships and accomplishments
National Wrestling Association
NWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
New York State Athletic Commission
NYSAC World Heavyweight Championship (1 time) - unified with NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
Class of 2002 (Pioneer Era)
Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1996)
World Heavyweight Championship (original version) (1 time)
Los Angeles World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
Maryland World Heavyweight Championship(2 times)
Minneapolis World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
^ a b c d e f g h i j http://www.wrestlingmuseum.com/pages/wrestlers/jimlondos2.html
^ a b c d Hackett, T: "Slaphappy: Pride, Prejudice, and Professional Wrestling", page 37. HarperCollins, 2006.
^ Hackett, T: "Slaphappy: Pride, Prejudice, and Professional Wrestling", page 36. HarperCollins, 2006.
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