Bill Bangert

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Wilfred (Bill) Bangert gained fame in his senior year in high school as a St. Louis Golden Gloves Champion, then as an Ozark AAU champion and was a National AAU Shot Put Champion. In 1948 Bangert knocked Bob Baker out in the semi-final of the National AAU at heavyweight. It has been reported Bangert broke his hand in the bout. He went on and fought Coley Wallace in the final. The bout had been reported as being stopped and awarded to Wallace by tko after Bagert landed a punch with the broken hand and collapsed. A frame by frame review of the fight may appear to support this. In 1949 Bangert made the semi-final of the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions and represented Chicago at the Intercity Golden Gloves.

Bangert attended the Universities of Missouri and Perdue, he had a successful audition with the New York Metropolitan Opera and he won the National AAU Outdoor Discus Throw Championship in 1944 and 1945 and the National AAU Shot Put Championship in 1944, 1945 and 1946. He signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers of the All-America Football Conference [1] in 1946. In 1951 he went blind. In 1952 he participated blind in the National AAU Shot Put Championship at Madison Square Garden and finished 2nd. He was the only blind athlete to ever compete in an all-sighted championships of any kind at the Madison Square Garden. Miracusly doctors found a way to treat his blindness and his sight was restored.

Bangert was elected two terms as mayor of Berkeley, Missouri. When he was the mayor of Champ, Missouri in 1971 at 48 years old at 6" 5" weighing 280 pounds, he made a bet with the lord mayor of Aberdeen, Scotland that he could carry the famous Dinnie Stones named after Scottish strong man Donald Dinnie across a 17 foot bridge over the River Dee and back again. He succeeded and Bangert put in his claim to the title of strongman. The Dinnie Stones weighed a total of 778 pounds.

He followed this feat with another one in 1973, dragging the 2.5-ton Naha Stone in Hawaii, which supposedly qualified him to rule as king.

Bangert competed in weightlifting and track & field in national and world championships and winning medals in his division for decades, winning his final championship at Gasteshead England in 1999.

January 14, 1924 - July 12, 2011