A true legend in the world of professional wrestling, Killer Kowalski was born on October 13, 1926, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The son of Polish immigrants, Kowalski made his professional wrestling debut in St. Louis in 1947 as Tarzan Kowalski. A formidable presence in the ring with a reputation as a ruthless villain, Kowalski stood 6 feet, 7 inches and weighed approximately 275 pounds. In fact, during a notorious match in 1952, Kowalski accidentally ripped off Yukon Eric's ear. Kowalski's signature moves were known as the "Killer Clutch" and "Iron Claw." Believe it or not, Kowalski was also a strict vegetarian.
Kowalski wrestled as a heel for several organizations during his 30-year career such as the National Wrestling Alliance, American Wrestling Association and World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), where he embarked on a legendary feud with Bruno Sammartino. In 1963, Kowalski and Gorilla Monsoon won the United States Tag Team Championship. Toward the twilight of his career in 1976, Kowalski, along with Big John Studd, captured the WWWF World Tag Team Championship as "The Executioners." After his retirement in 1977, Kowalski opened the Killer Kowalski Institute of Professional Wrestling in Massachusetts. Alumni of the school include Triple H and Chyna. Kowalski died of a heart attack at the age of 81 on August 30, 2008.