Fritz Von Erich: His Iron Claw and His Tragedy

September 15, 2017 at 4:19 am Ron Mullinax

Have you ever wondered what lies beneath the fame of the great Fritz Von Erich wrestler?


Iron Claw


Fritz Von Erich Master of the Iron Claw is a man holding three names, two of which are known in pro-wrestling. Von Erich is a family name that holds a dynasty in world of wrestling but keeps a personal tragedy that visits their home.

Fritz Von Erich, born on the 16th day of August of the year 1929 in Leon County, Texas, was a pro-wrestler and a promoter. Aside from his moves using his Iron Claw, he was a star in talk shows because of his family’s story. Fritz von Erich triumph and tragedy go together. You can’t talk of one without mentioning the other.

He had six children, the last-living Von Erich son, Kevin, and the other five were named Jack Jr., David, Mike, Chris, and Kerry. All of them played a huge part of the wrestler’s personal tragedy. This tragedy began in 1959 when Jack Jr. died of electrocution. In 1984, his son David died due to an intestinal ailment. Three years later, Mike was diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome. He committed suicide and died of a gunshot to the head in 1991. Three years later, in 1993, his fourth eldest son, Kerry, also committed suicide with a gun. In addition to the drama, Fritz and his wife, Doris, got divorced after forty-two years of marriage. To top it all, Fritz Von Erich Master of the Iron Claw was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in June 1997.

All of these tragedies happened at the prime of his career. He worked as a promoter, pro-wrestler, and investor. He won several championships including the NWA International Tag Team and World Heavyweight Championship. Despite all the illnesses and deaths that surrounded him and his family, he continued his career. That’s when he became many people’s lifelong hero.

Author Ron G. Mullinax met Fritz von Erich wrestler through his son, Kevin. Since they had much in common, they swiftly became friends. When Mullinax learned that Fritz had cancer, he moved into his home and took care of him. Writing his biography was an honor which he genuinely offered to the writer. He accepted the task wholeheartedly because he wanted people to know that behind the strong body was also a strong heart able to withstand all the tragedies of life.

No matter how famous and talented Fritz Von Erich got, he was not able to escape the cold clutches of life. However, his name will forever remain in the world of pro-wrestling. Personally, I think he should be remembered as a person who faced tragedy in the face and fought back. In the end, he lost, but his will lived on.

Curious to know more about the life of the Master of the Iron Claw? Purchase the book Fritz Von Erich: Master of Iron Claw available in paperback and e-book. Check out my website and follow me in FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.



“Review: Fritz Von Erich: Master of the Iron Claw By Ron G. Mullinax” Wrestle Book Review, February 11. Accessed August 31, 2017.

“The Von Erichs: Bio” WWE. Accessed August 31, 2017.

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