By Phin Upham
Vince McMahon, the man many know as the head of the World Wrestling Federation, was born in August of 1945. He grew up on North Carolina, and was part of a family of wrestling talent. His father, Vince Sr. was president of the Capitol Wrestling Corporation and his grandfather was a fairly well-known boxing and wrestling promoter. Capitol Wrestling was a dominant force in American wrestling until the middle of the 20th century, where wrestling became a regional enterprise with sharp divisions.
Vince was raised almost exclusively by his mother, and didn’t meet his father until he was 12. But the bug bit Vince hard, and he wanted in the business as soon as possible. So he went to East Carolina University and studied business administration. He graduated in 1968 and joined the family business in 1971. His father made him head of operations in Maine, where McMahon grew attendance and found success. His responsibilities grew to include all of New England, and he eventually bought his father out in 1982. That kicked off an aggressive expansion that would forever alter that landscape of American pro wrestling.
McMahon hired new talent and acquired competitors nationwide, eventually creating domestic empire that we know as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He also founded its parent company Titan Sports, Inc. Pro wrestling was, and still is a tough sell. It’s not a legitimate sport by that standard of many, and thus looked at as lowbrow. McMahon admits the outcome is known well before the match begins, but he envisions the spectacle as entertainment. McMahon’s wrestling is flashy and elaborate. It’s staged gracefully and the audience is given a true show.
About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or LinkedIn page.