I don't know who the hell I am, I don't know what I want, except, I've got an insatiable appetite for life, and I want more, more, more!
As Vince McMahon utters these words, he sits atop a billion-dollar fortune, solid in his reputation as one of the most successful promoters of professional wrestling in world history. Love him or hate him, McMahon has undoubtedly succeeded in turning his fathers regional wrestling operation into a global billion-dollar enterprise. No other single individual can claim to have had the same impact on the world of wrestling than McMahon.
It was a long and often hard climb to the top for McMahon, who was born Vincent Kennedy McMahon Jr. on August 24, 1945 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. In his early years, he lived with his mother in a trailer park while abusive stepfathers seemed to come and go. It wasnt until he was twelve years old that McMahon met his biological father, Vince McMahon Sr. The head of Capitol Sports, which also included the Worldwide Wrestling Federation, McMahon Sr. quickly bonded with his son. McMahon Jr. fell in love with his fathers wrestling business. I wanted to be part of his world, he said. I loved the promotion business. I'd hang with him at the wrestling; it was like being the kid in the candy store. I liked the roar of the crowd. I liked the charismatic people. I liked the entertainment. I liked all of it. But, McMahon Jr. was met with his fathers vehement disapproval when he expressed his desire to get more involved in the industry.
In an attempt to get his son to enter into a more secure career, McMahon Sr. sent his son to military school. McMahon Jr. enrolled into the Fishborne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia. He began setting records at a young age, not only for his wrestling skills, but also by becoming the first cadet to ever be court-martialed. He was not convicted and instead would go on to graduate from East Carolina University in 1968 with a Business Administration and Marketing degree.
Despite his fathers best attempts, McMahons passion for the wrestling business had not subsided during his time in school. After unsuccessfully trying his hand as a traveling salesman, McMahon Sr. gave his son the chance to promote his first wrestling match in Bangor, Maine, in 1971. The event was a huge success.
One year later, McMahon was given the chance to become an on-screen commentator for his fathers wrestling matches when another announcer was suddenly dismissed. He proved to be such a success that he began providing the commentary on a weekly basis. While he enjoyed doing the play-by-plays, McMahons real passion was promotion. McMahon began working behind the scenes of his fathers company, helping promote their syndicated programs from nine states in the northeast to almost 30 states across the country in less than ten years. He also began promoting hockey from the Cape Cod Arena in Massachusetts.
Towards the end of the 1970s, McMahon Sr. learned that he was dying of cancer. He decided that it was time to leave the wrestling business behind, which he did, to his son. McMahon Jr. incorporated Titan Sports Inc., and proceeded to purchase the Capitol Wrestling Corporation from his father in 1982. He changed the name of his fathers business to the World Wrestling Federation and, against his fathers wishes began expanding nationally. It wouldnt be long before McMahon would buy out all of his fathers former partners and be in complete control of the burgeoning business.