Son of the boxer Ed "Bearcat" Wright, he chose to enter pro-wrestling at time when racial tones still were running high and along with Bobo Brazil
opened the gates for afro-american wrestlers. He was one of the first wrestlers to stand up against segregation (read fighting within one's race) which was the practice then in Indiana and lost his licence for a few months and got it back when wrestling was desegregated.
He then went on to beat Killer Kowalski
for Big Time Pro-wrestling title becoming the first ever afro-american pro-wrestling champion as Bobo Brazil's NWA title win was not recognized. He also went on to win WWA title from Classy Freddie Blassie
and was thrown out of NWA for refusing to drop it with a short run. He later was asked to face Gene LeBell who could shoot which he refused and was stripped citing refusal to defend the title.
His fame however as a face or heel and drawing ability could not be overlooked by the promoters who kept working with him inspite of his no-nonsense attitude.
His famous feuds include Sheik
, Johnny Valentine
, Freddie Blassie
, Gorgeous George
, Eddie Graham, Buddy Rogers
and anybody who mattered during the 60's and 70's and he managed to wow the audience getting them to come and see him irrespective of then prevalent racial and civil rights tension.
With 19 title runs including a couple of world championships to his credit during turbulent times and for being one of the pioneers in the line of Mildred Burke
, Peter Maivia
, Bobo Brazil
in breaking the shackles and opening the doors, he is a forgotten legend in spite of being the first recognized afro-american champion.