Terry Eugene Bollea, known to the world as Hulk Hogan, is one of the most iconic figures in the history of professional wrestling. Born on August 11, 1953, in Augusta, Georgia, Hogan grew up in a family that loved sports and entertainment. As a young man, he was a talented baseball player, but it was his passion for professional wrestling that would ultimately lead him to fame and fortune.
Hogan’s early years were marked by constant moves as his father, a construction foreman, took jobs in different parts of the country. By the time he was in high school, Hogan had lived in several different states and attended a variety of schools. Despite the frequent disruptions to his education, he excelled as an athlete and became known for his impressive physique and natural charisma.
After high school, Hogan attended Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida, where he played on the baseball team. But it was during this time that he first became interested in professional wrestling, attending matches at the nearby Fort Homer Hesterly Armory and dreaming of one day stepping into the ring himself. In 1977, he got his chance, signing with the National Wrestling Alliance and beginning a career that would make him one of the most recognizable and beloved figures in sports entertainment history.
Hulk Hogan went on to become one of the most iconic and recognizable figures in professional wrestling history. He helped to make the sport mainstream and popular with a new generation of fans.
Here are 10 facts about Hulk Hogan:
- He began his WWF career in 1983
Hogan signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1983. He quickly became one of the company’s biggest stars. He was known for his hulking physique, his blonde hair, and his signature “Hulkamania” persona.
2. He was the face of the WWF during the “Golden Age of Wrestling”
The “Golden Age of Wrestling” was a period in the 1980s when professional wrestling was at its peak in popularity. Hogan was the biggest star of the era, and he helped to make the WWF a global phenomenon.
Hogan also headlined the first WrestleMania in 1985, where he and Mr. T defeated Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper by pinfall. In addition, Hogan was involved in one of the most famous wrestling matches of all time, when he defeated Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III in 1987. The match drew a record-breaking attendance of 93,173 fans.
3. Musical Past
Terry Bollea almost became a musician. Before he ever set foot in a wrestling ring, Hogan had dreams of becoming a musician. He played bass guitar in a Florida-based band called Ruckus, and even recorded a few singles. However, his love of wrestling ultimately won out, and he decided to pursue a career in sports entertainment instead.
4. He was trained by some of the best
Hogan’s early wrestling training came from legendary figures in the business, including Hiro Matsuda, Eddie Graham, and Jerry Brisco. Their tutelage helped shape Hogan’s early career and set him on a path to success.
5. He has been married twice
Hogan was first married to Linda Claridge from 1983 to 2009. They have two children together: Brooke and Nick. Hogan married Jennifer McDaniel in 2010. The couple started dating each other in 2008 and got engaged in 2009. Finally, they tied their wedding knot in 2010 in Florida. Hulk and Jennifer don’t have any kids. The couple separated in 2021 after being committed for more than ten years.
6. He has been involved in several controversies throughout his career
Hogan has been involved in several controversies throughout his career. In 2007, he was caught on tape using a racial slur. In an attempt to explain the apparent threshold for which African Americans can date his daughter, Hogan was caught on tape as saying, “If we’re gonna f*ck with n**gers, let’s get a rich one!” He was subsequently fired from the WWE in 2015, but was reinstated in 2018.
7. In-Ring Accomplishments
Hulk Hogan is one of the most successful professional wrestlers of all time, having won numerous championships throughout his career. Here are some of the titles that Hulk Hogan has won:
- WWF Championship: Hogan won the WWF Championship a total of six times, holding the title for a combined 2,185 days. He first won the title in 1984 and his last reign came in 1993.
- WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hogan won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship six times, holding the title for a combined 1,177 days. He won his first WCW Championship in 1994.
- WWE Tag Team Championship: Hogan won the WWE Tag Team Championship once, teaming up with Edge to defeat Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo in 2002.
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Hogan won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship once, defeating Jeff Jarrett at TNA’s Bound for Glory pay-per-view event in 2011.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Hogan won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship once, defeating The Great Muta in 1993.
- King of the Ring: Hogan won the King of the Ring tournament in 1987, defeating Harley Race in the final.
- Royal Rumble: Hogan won the Royal Rumble in 1990 and 1991, becoming the first wrestler to win the event in consecutive years.
- He has had a successful career outside of wrestling
Here are some of the highlights of Hulk Hogan’s career outside of wrestling:
- Acting: Hogan has appeared in several films, including “Rocky III” (1982), “Suburban Commando” (1991), and “Mr. Nanny” (1993). He also starred in the reality television series “Hogan Knows Best” from 2005 to 2007.
- Music: Hogan has released several music albums, including “Hulk Rules” (1995). He has also toured with his band, Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling.
- Business: Hogan has owned several businesses, including a restaurant, a clothing line, and a wrestling school. He has also endorsed several products, including vitamins and video games.
- Philanthropy: Hogan is a supporter of several charities, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Special Olympics. He has also donated money to help rebuild homes after natural disasters.
9. He has had health issues
Hulk Hogan has had his fair share of health issues throughout his life and career, some of which have been quite serious. Here are some of the health issues that Hogan has faced:
- Back and knee problems: Hogan has had multiple back surgeries over the years, including a procedure to fuse several vertebrae in his back. He has also had both of his knees replaced due to wear and tear from years of wrestling.
- Heart problems: Hogan has also experienced heart problems, including an irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure. In 2018, he revealed that he had a pacemaker implanted to help regulate his heart.
- Hepatitis C: Hogan was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in the early 2000s, a liver disease caused by a virus that can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Hogan underwent treatment for the disease and has since been cleared of the virus.
10. Hulk Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005
Hulk Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, in recognition of his contributions to the wrestling industry. Hogan’s induction ceremony was held during WrestleMania 21 weekend in Los Angeles, California. In his induction speech, Hogan expressed his gratitude to the fans who had supported him throughout his career, and thanked his fellow wrestlers for their camaraderie and friendship. Hogan’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame cemented his status as one of the all-time greats in the wrestling world, and his legacy continues to inspire and entertain fans around the globe.