[Article: Portrait of a Hooker]
Wrestler: Ed "The Strangler" Lewis
Real Name: Robert H. Friedrich
Birthday: June 30, 1890
Hometown: Nekoosa/Port Edwards, Wisconsin
Marital Status:
Height & Weight: 5' 10" 265 lbs.
Trained by:
Finishing Move: Sleeper Hold (varition)
Favorite Moves:
Notable Feuds: Stanislaus Zbysko
Orville Brown
Joe Stecher
Jim Londos
Dick Shikat
Freddie Beel
Jack Leon
Karl Shulz
Young Olsen
Charlie Cutler
Ernie Dusek
Rudy Dusek
Tom Jenkins

  • Undisputed World Heavyweight Championships (five times between 1920-1931)
  • A.W.A. (Boston) World Heavyweight title..
  • New York State Athletic Commission (N.Y.S.A.C.) World Heavyweight title in 1932
  • Wrestling Association World Heavyweight title defeated Orville Brown (November 26, 1942)

  • Friedrich started wrestling at the age of 14 at small carnivals and in farm towns throughout middle America..
  • 1904: At the age of 14, Friedich carried his 200-pound frame into a wrestling ring in Madison, WI on won his first match!
  • Friedich became known as "Ed Lewis" as a disguise because his parents did not approve of wrestling..
  • Ed Lewis was a true pioneer of the sport and one of its earliest and most dominant champions..
  • Ed Lewis helped establish pro wrestling at a time when it was somewhat unestablished..
  • July 4, 1916: Ed Lewis was involved in the longest running wrestling match in history, wrestling Joe Stecher to a 5 hour draw..
  • Ed Lewis got his "Strangler" nickname, from a reporter who saw a resemblence between Lewis Evan "The Strangler" Lewis..
  • Ed Lewis and boxing champ Jack Dempsey had a long-running "feud" throughout their simultaneous reigns... coerced by the press..
  • ~~~Jack admitted the match would never happened because he knew that he didn't stand a chance against a Wrestling Champion..
  • Ed Lewis is probably the most accomplished submission wrestler in the sport during the early 1900's..
  • Ed Lewis was feared and respected both inside and outside of the ring for his extensive knowledge of crippling submission holds..
  • Ed Lewis easily could (and sometimes did) injure and legitimately cripple any wrestler that crossed him, anytime he felt like it.
  • January 4, 1929: Gus Sonnenberg defeted Ed "Strangler" Lewis for the World's Heavyweight title..
  • June 9, 1932: Ed Strangler Lewis defeated Dick Shikat for the NWA Heavyweight Wrestling title..
  • 1937: Ed Lewis returned to the United States after a tour around the world, Lewis declared that he was quitting the ring..
  • ~~~Ed Lewis did not approve of the new 'style' wrestling had adopted, but he kept wrestling dispite that announcement..
  • November 26, 1942: Ed Lewis beat Orville Brown for the Midwest Wrestling Association World Heavyweight title in Kansas City..
  • 1947: Ed Lewis wrestled his last match, marking the end of a career that spanned 4 decades..
  • Ed Lewis (by his own records) wrestled in over 6,200 matches and lost only 33..
  • In retirement, Ed Lewis trained and occasionally managed protege and N.W.A. World Champion Lou Thesz..
  • Ed Lewis became a restaurant operator, a rancher and athletic director of a health club..
  • Ed Lewis acted in such films as "Stranglehold" and "That Natzy Nuisance."
  • Ed Lewis lost his sight after a siege of trachoma early in his career but recovered and credited the recovery to prayer..
  • Ed Lewis once again lost his eyesight during the last few years of his life..
  • August 6, 1966: Ed "Strangler" Lewis died at the age of 76 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Muskogee, OK..
  • ~~~Reports of his passing were in newspapers on August 8 which may account for this date being incorrectly used..