“The Golden Greek” Jim Londos (real name Christos Theofilou) was a popular professional wrestler in the 1930s and 1940s who was born in Argos, Greece (January 2, 1894), and died in California (August 19, 1975).
Londos’ father, Theophilos, was an amateur wrestler in Greece and is credited with having taught Londos in some of the fundamentals of wrestling. When he was only thirteen Londos emigrated to the United States. At first, as a new immigrant, he worked whenever he could and took several odd jobs including construction jobs, cabin boy, and even posing nude for figure drawing classes. Around 1912 Londos landed a job as a catcher in a carnival acrobatic act and it was during this period that he was exposed to professional wrestling and began seriously training to become a professional wrestler.
Londos had a long career in wrestling and eventually retired in 1953. He spent the rest of his life working for various charitable organizations such as supporting Greek war orphans of World War II. Londos was honored for his philanthropic work by the United States President Richard Nixon and also by the king of Greece, King Paul.
Londos died of a heart attack in 1975 aged 81. He is buried at Oak Hill Memorial Park in Escondido, California.
Recalling Star Professional Wrestler Jim “The Golden Greek” Londos – read the full article on National Herlad (2015)
“Better drink your milk if you expect to
grow up like Jim Londos.”
Whether Greeks in the future still remember Jim Londos will ultimately make no difference to history. Since the bold Greek champion appeared in some 2,500 individual wrestling matches during his professional career, once the first solid history of wrestling in America is finally written, the role and considerable accomplishments of this Greek immigrant are sure to be prominently featured. Still, it is surprising how many Greek-Americans living today all heard the same phrase when they were children, “Better drink your milk if you expect to grow up like Jim Londos.” In legends as well as history, Jim Londos carved a unique place for himself in the ongoing experience of Greeks in North America.