Raised on a dairy farm in Canada, "The Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff always dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler and left home at the age of 18 years old to attend Jack Wentworth's wrestling school in Ontario. His wrestling career began as an Irish heel named "Red McNulty" but he adopted the Ivan Koloff persona in 1967 and soon became the Canadian Heavyweight Champion. In 1971, Koloff defeated Bruno Sammartino to capture the WWWF Heavyweight Championship but just as quickly lost the title to Pedro Morales. Over the next 31 years, Koloff wrestled all over the world, winning numerous championships, battling such adversaries as Dusty Rhodes and serving as a mentor to his "nephew," Nikita Koloff. Today, Koloff and his family live in Greenville, North Carolina. A born-again Christian since 1996, Koloff spends a lot of time these days on the lecture circuit sharing his testimony.