BUFFALO, NY - Former Buffalo wrestler Don Curtis has been named as an inductee to the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is located inside the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa. Curtis will join Kurt Angle in the 2012 class.
Curtis attended the University at Buffalo from 1947 to 1951. Known at Don Beitelman at the time, he was the team's captain for two seasons and also played for the football team. In 1980, he was inducted into the Buffalo athletics Hall of Fame for his contributions to UB and the sport of wrestling.
After making his professional debut in 1951, Beitelman went to New Zealand and Australia, where he quickly became a star over his five years down under. After returning to the States, he changed his name to Don Curtis and soon started working for the legendary Vince McMahon Sr., who paired him with longtime friend Mark Lewin and thus began a dynamic career that lasted until the early 1970s.
Following his triumphs as a wrestler, he made a successful transition to coach, referee and member of the United States Olympic Committee for wrestling. Don passed away in 2008 and is survived by his wife Dotty and his three children.