as Dick the Bruiser, William Richard Afflis was born in
Delphi, Indiana on June 27, 1929. He grew up in
Indianapolis and attended Purdue University, where he
played varsity football. He was later recruited by the
Green Bay Packers in the early 1950's, where he was a
was during his football days that he became a
professional wrestler and soon dominated the entire
Midwest. His antics in and out of the ring were
sometimes disastrous and even ended up with a suspension
in New York following a riot in the earlier part of his
time in the ring.
November 19, 1958, Dick was teaming up with Dr. Jerry
Graham to take on Antonino Rocca and Edouard Carpentier
in front of a sold out crowd at New York's Madison
Square Garden. Some 300 were injured during the match
following the riot that was said to be started by
Dick’ taunting of the crowd.
police officers were among those injured. The
commission for the state of New York took a dim
view of Dick's tactics and treated it with the
harshest penalty it could by not letting him
wrestle there for the rest of his life.
1963, Dick was starting to feud with former
Detroit Lions football star Alex Karras. He went
to the bar that Karras owned and got into a
fight with him that eventually ended with many
people being thrown through a window that was
six feet off the floor. It just so happened that
a couple of those people were Detroit policemen.
Dick was given a huge fine for the damages to
the bar and the policemen and fans that were
hurt in the fight. He left Detroit and did not
return until the late 1960's, when that fine was
finally paid by a conglomerate that wanted Dick
back in Detroit to go in opposition to The
Sheik, who was making quite a name for himself
at the Cobo Arena.
his career, he would headline many cards all over the
world. He formed the American Wrestling Association with
several partners and ran it successfully from 1964 and
well into the 1980's.
first, he was billed as "The World's Most Dangerous
Wrestler," giving no quarter to any of the people he
wrestled. It didn't matter to Dick, as he treated his
opponents all the same.
in his career, Dick would become a fan favorite when he
came to the aid of Wilbur Snyder, a former foe of his. He
had many bloody battles with Wilbur in most of the huge
arenas that dotted the Midwest. They both ended up in
hospitals following some of those battles.
retired to Florida in the mid-1980's and worked as a
talent agent for World Wrestling Federation. Dick died of
internal bleeding on November 10, 1991 in Largo, Florida,
near his winter home. His widow, Louise, said her husband
had been weightlifting at home with his adopted son, Jon
Carney, and ruptured a blood vessel in his esophagus. He
is entombed at Washington Park North Cemetery in