Vincent James McMahon, better known as “Vince McMahon Senior” is unarguably one of the most significant names in the history of American professional wrestling. This generation of wrestling fans knows him as the father of legendary wrestling promoter and the owner of WWE Vincent Kennedy McMahon, but James’ contribution to this business is way more deep rooted. James was an American professional wrestling promoter by profession. His best creation was World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) which now is known as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Birth & Early Life: James was born on 6th of July, 1914 in Harlem, New York. James’ father, Roderick James “Jess” McMahon, was a successful concert and boxing promoter and had worked with Tex Rickard, a legendary Madison Square Garden promoter. His mother was Rose, an Irish descent who lived in New York. The couple had three children; James, his older brother Roderick Junior and his younger sister Dorothy. McMahon Senior was married to Juanita, Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s mother, in the mid 50s and later the couple got divorced.
Profession & Career: World War II brought a lot of socio-economical changes across Europe and America. The development of television is a prime one among them. Along with the development of television, the requirement of new TV programs increased. After the 1920s, professional wrestling was no longer considered a legitimate sport due to its incorporation of modern theatrics and moving away from real competition.
But James used this weak-link of American professional wrestling and built upon it. He realized the tremendous potential for growth this industry held. In those days, wrestling matches took place in smaller rings just like boxing. Only one or a couple of cameras were used in the arena and the overall atmosphere was too drab and shabby compared to modern day wrestling arenas.
James played a significant role in gradually changing the nature of professional wrestling and helping it fit better in television. He emphasized on building “in-ring characters” and storylines. This new concept drew considerable attention across the USA. In fact, James took the first step to bring wrestling into mainstream media.
James’ success proved his approach was right. His group Capitol Wrestling Corporation dominated the business of professional wrestling in the 1950s and 1960s. But McMahon Senior mostly operated in the north-east; the most populous area of the nation during those days. He had primarily operated in New Jersey, New York and Baltimore. McMahon Senior had a great eye for young talents and he was a master of booking matches that could create the most drama and excitement for the fans. In 1955, McMahon Senior started airing his wrestling matches on Wednesday nights.
James later sold his company, the parent company of WWE, to his son Vincent Kennedy McMahon who took the brand to a new level altogether. But McMahon Senior was the man who sowed the seed decades back and American professional wrestling will remain grateful to Vincent James McMahon for what it is today. This legendary promoter died on 24th of May, 1984 from pancreatic cancer.