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Wrestling Legends-The Von Erich Family
They were hard-bodied, golden-haired, bare-chested hunks of Texas men.
Their real name was Adkisson. Their stage name was Von Erich. Fritz and his handsome sons Kevin, David, Kerry, Mike and Chris were wrestling legends.
Every Texas female in the late 70s and 80s knew of the handsome Von Erichs. I remember hearing various girlfriends talk about having seen one of the Von Erichs out and about.
My grandmother loved wrestling and she loved the Von Erichs. I remember her looking at a photo of one of the Von Erich boys and remarking, "well, if he ain't got it, then Santa Claus sure can't bring it".
Fritz Von Erich-The Iron Claw (1929-1997)
Jack Barton Adkisson was born in 1929 in Jewett, Texas. He was 6'4" 240 lbs and adopted a wrestling persona known as Fritz Von Erich. He is known for his "Iron Claw" and creating World Class Championship Wrestling. He is the father of six sons, and all but one died prematurely and tragically.
Fritz Von Erich died in 1997 from lung cancer that had spread to his brain.
More info on Fritz Von Erich
Jackie Von Erich (1953-1959)
Jack "Jackie" Barton Adkissson, Jr. was the first son of Fritz Von Erich. Jackie tragically died at age 6. He had gone to a neighbor's house. The neighbor had been remodeling and left some wiring exposed. Jackie brushed against the wiring knocking him unconscious. He fell face down into a puddle of melted snow and drowned.
Kevin Von Erich (1957- )
Kevin Von Erich was born in 1957 and become known as The Golden Warrior. He is 6'3" and 235 lbs.
Kevin started wrestling in 1976 at the age of 19. At a time when high-topped boots were common wrestling attire, Kevin wrestled barefooted. Even though he admired another barefoot wrestler, it evidently wasn't his original intent to wrestle barefooted. Someone had hidden his shoes before a match and he was unable to locate them before having to go on. It simply stuck after that.
Kevin is retired from wrestling and lives in Hawaii. His son Ross is an up and coming wrestler going to college in Texas.
David Von Erich (1958-1984)
David Von Erich was born in 1958 and became known as the Yellow Rose of Texas. He was 6'5". Some cites report him as tall as 6'7". He was a big ole boy no matter how you look at it.
In Feb 1984 while on tour in Japan, he complained of stomach pain and feeling tired. He died of gastroenteritis at age 25.
Kerry Von Erich (1960-1993)
Kerry Von Erich was born in 1960. He was 6'3" and 260 lbs. He became known as the Texas Tornado and the Modern Day Warrior. In my opinion, Kerry is the cutest of all the Von Erichs.
He lost his foot in a motorcycle accident where he was reportedly riding barefoot and struck a parked vehicle. He continued his wrestling career wearing a prosthesis.
After his motorcycle accident, he became addicted to the painkillers and after being arrested for possession of painkillers without a prescription, he committed suicide in 1993 at age 33.
Kerry is the father of Lacey Von Erich, the only female Von Erich to enter into the wrestling arena.
Tribute to Kerry Von Erich
Mike Von Erich (1964-1987)
Mike Von Erich was born in 1964. He was 6'1" 200 lbs.
He suffered a shoulder injury during wrestling and even though he seemed to have recovered from it, he developed a high fever (107 degrees) four days later and it was discovered that he had Toxic Shock Syndrome. This caused him to lose body mass and affected his career. In 1987, at only 23 years old, he committed suicide by overdosing on tranquilizers.
Chris Von Erich (1969-1991)
Chris Von Erich was born in 1969. He was the smallest of the Von Erichs. He suffered from asthma and it stunted his growth. He was only 5'6".
Chris was very close to Mike and when Mike died in 1987 Chris took it hard. Mike's death and his own inability to live up to the Von Erich wrestling fame led him to commit suicide in 1991 at the age of 22.
The Next Generation of Von Erichs
Ross Von Erich is the son of Kevin Von Erich. He was born in 1988 and is attending college in Texas.
Lacey Von Erich is the daughter of of Kerry Von Erich. She was born in 1986. She also wrestles barefooted like her Uncle Kevin.
Both of them have begun to follow the Von Erich legacy of wrestling. Who knows what the future holds with these two upcoming Von Erichs?
- VonErich.com - The Official Website of the Von Erich Family
Learn more about the tragic Von Erich Family.
- Von Erich family - Pro Wrestling
The Von Erich family is a wrestling family. Their actual birth names are "Adkisson", but every member of the family that went into the wrestling business used the ring name "Von Erich".