Hulk Hogan Biography
Hulk Hogan, was born Terry Gene Bollea, on August
11, 1953, in Augusta, Georgia. Bollea is the youngest son of Pete Bollea, a construction
foreman and Ruth Bollea, a homemaker and dance instructor. Bollea acquired an interest for
wrestling in high school. He also had a love for music, skilled in both electric and bass
guitar.. He went on to study at Hillsborough Community College and the University of South
Florida. However, in spite of his education, his interests remained in the ring, and he
never received his degree. Instead, he chose to devote his time to working out in a local
gym, owned by wrestlers Jack and Jerry Brisco. Encouraged by these two brothers, Bollea
spent a few months wrestling on some small circuits in the Southeast and in New Japan
In 1979, Bollea’s talent caught the attention of Vincent McMahon Sr., the legendary promoter/owner of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE, then known as the WWF), the most prominent wrestling league in the Northeast. McMahon gave Bollea an opportunity to join the WWE - along with a new identity. Because of his massive physique (he stood 6’8” and weighed 303 pounds) and resemblance to the comic book hero the Incredible Hulk, McMahon suggested that Terry assume the name Hulk Hogan.
In 1980, Hogan had his debut bout against the fierce Andre the Giant. Hogan won the match, along with the respect and support of wrestling fans throughout the country. Actor Sylvester Stallone was so impressed by Hogan’s performance that he cast him as “Thunderlips the Ultimate Male” in his 1982 movie Rocky III.
In 1984, Hogan was awarded the WWE championship belt for his memorable defeat of the Iron Sheik and Hogan, along with the related phenomena of “Hulkamania,” rose to super-stardom. Hogan would hold this title for three more years during which his success continued to bolster public fascination with professional wrestling. Hulk Hogan and “Hulkamania” was running wild everywhere across the world. Hulk Hogan sold out the very first historic and infamous Wrestlemania3 in 1987. His match against Andre the Giant is still held as one of the greatest matches of all time. Wrestlemania3 still holds the attendance record with a draw of over 93,000 fans. No one could escape the question “Whatcha gonna do when “Hulkamania” runs wild on you?”
By 1985, Hogan had acquired tremendous popularity. His image was marketed to sell a multitude of products, and he began to take on leading roles in a number of films. In 1989, Hogan starred in a wrestling movie titled No Holds Barred. Hogan was seen in a number of box office films, which included Mr. Nanny (1993) and Santa with Muscles (1996). Hogan didn’t care about box office money, but quality entertainment for families. Children have always been Hogan’s main concern and love. During his career he has spent countless hours helping charities around the world.
The success Hogan enjoyed in the 1980s was counteracted by turbulence he endured through the early 1990s. Accused of providing anabolic steroids to its wrestlers, the WWE underwent a painful trial in which Hogan was called to testify against his former boss Vince McMahon Jr., (who succeeded his father as the WWE owner). Hogan’s admission of his steroid abuse put a major damper on both his wrestling and film careers. By the time this trial came about Hogan had cleaned up his act and gone legit. Many wrestlers if not all of them used steroids in the 80‘s/early 90‘s. At the time few knew the harmful affects of steroid use. Worn out and tired of the spotlight Hogan surprised the WWE fans one last time. At Wrestlemania8 he won back the title from Yokozuna (a last minute decision). This led many to believe that Hulk Hogan had decided to stay with the WWE and work through their problems. Unfortunately, it was the last time wrestling fans would see their invincible hero for quite some time.
Hogan surprised everyone by making a remarkable comeback to the wrestling arena in 1996 as his red and yellow character in Ted Turner's WCW. He later re-invented himself as “Hollywood” Hogan, established himself as a villain and, once again, secured his popularity among wrestling fans. Hogan joined the NWO, (New World Order) a wrestling team that paired Hogan with two other wrestlers, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. This infamous chain of events gained immense support from wrestling fans and, ultimately, returned Hogan to the success of his past. In the summer of 2000, Hulk Hogan was in midst of yet another controversy. At Bash at the Beach Hogan had appeared to be “fired”. This event is still debated as whether it was a work (fixed event) or an actual happening. After the infamous Bash at the Beach, wrestling fans were yet again left without their wrestling icon.
Miraculously, Hulk Hogan resurfaced yet again after a bold move by Vince McMahon. McMahon and Hogan held meetings and came to an understanding settling all past problems between the two. This act let fans see the reemergence of the bad boys known as the NWO. Hogan, Hall, and Nash rocked the WWE in February of 2002 at No Way Out. Hogan and the NWO’s first move was to destroy the current popular wrestler, The Rock. Hogan did manage to put The Rock out of action. However, The Rock returned right before WrestlemaniaX8 to challenge “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan to a match. Hogan accepted and the rest is history. WrestlemaniaX8 put Hogan back on top with yet another historic wrestling confrontation. Despite Hogan’s heel status he was the fan favorite with overwhelming crowd pops during his match entitled “Icon vs. Icon”. He managed to do something unimaginable. He turned the crowd against The Rock. Although he didn’t win the match he did however solidify the fact that “Hulkamania” is forever. Hulk Hogan left the NWO and returned to the red and yellow (but with a Hollywood twist). With the crowd behind him once again, Hogan is proving that Hulk still rules and “Hulkamania” is running wilder than ever. Hulk Hogan truly is immortal in the hearts of all his fans around the world.
Hogan’s career as a professional wrestler has spanned over two decades, and he remains to be one of the sports's most recognized figures. He is most noted for his accomplishments in bringing the WWE to the public masses. He is also largely responsible for the immense popularity of wrestling as a form of family entertainment. Hulk Hogan and wrestling is one. There is no separation of the two. Hogan is married to Linda Bollea, and they have two children, Nicholas and Brooke. Hogan’s influence to return to the spotlight can be notably credited to his Son and Father. Hogan’s Father had a heart felt talk with Hogan before his passing and asked him to return and set his career straight. Father knows best. I’ll now leave the readers with this commentary from fellow wrestling superstar, Bret Hart................
Hulk Hogan, he hasn't changed a whole heck of a lot from the way he was the first time I met him back in 1979. The first time I met Terry Bollea, we were both working for Georgia Championship Wrestling, which eventually evolved into the WCW. Back then, he was known as Sterling Golden. He was very green. And very impressive. On the day I left Atlanta to come home, I knocked on his door to say goodbye and told him if he ever wanted to learn to wrestle, he was welcome to come up and work for my dad any time. He thanked me and meant it, saying he'd keep it in mind.
The next time I saw him was in Japan. He'd just shot his cameo for Rocky III and was on the verge of mega-stardom that nobody could have even begun to imagine. Still, the same guy. When I started with the WWF/E, in August of '84, he was on his way to being the biggest name in the history of wrestling. I can remember, even during the glory days of “Hulkamania“, how Terry would come into the dressing room and say 'hi' to every single wrestler. Every night he headlined, there was a sellout and, throughout the night, all the wrestlers would come up to him and thank them both for the house, for putting food on their tables and making wrestling something worth respecting.
Hulk Hogan was not only a hero to millions of “Hulkamaniacs” but to all the wrestlers, too. If Vince McMahon was Julius Caesar, then Hulk Hogan was Alexander the Great.
I remember one time at an airport, in about 1987, when Hulk signed one autograph after another to the point where it took him 45 minutes to get to the gate. They were closing the doors as he was boarding the plane and this one fan asked him for his autograph. He said apologetically: "I'm sorry, I can't, I'm gonna miss my flight ..." and he got on the plane.
I was right behind him and I heard a bystander flippantly remark, "Just like I figured. I always thought he was a jerk." I thought to myself, that person has no idea how many autographs he just signed. Being a hero like Hulk Hogan, it's hard to make everybody happy but for a guy who's been wrestling as long as he has, he's certainly done a heck of a job. Hulk was especially considerate of me when I joined him in the WCW.
I saw him a few days ago at Davey's funeral and, despite the sad backdrop, it was nice to catch up on things. So then I opened up my paper and saw a picture of Hulk, taken in Calgary, with a 15-year-old girl named Amanda Marqniq, who dreams of being a pro wrestler but needed a heart transplant. It brought back what I remember most about Hulk Hogan, even more than his feats as a great wrestler. The countless times the office came to get him from the dressing room to make the wish of a sick or dying child come true.
Despite the fact he was pulled in too many different directions and had little time for himself or his family, Hulk always had all the time in the world for kids who needed him to be their hero. He somehow knew just the right things to say. It was never a burden to him. If anything, it gave him a sense of real purpose. I've always tried to follow his example. In yesterday's paper I read how Amanda has now gotten her new heart. I thought I might just give Hulk a call and let him know. He'd be happy to hear that. Some things in wrestling have always been real and Hulk Hogan is one of them.