Elita Markey

Elita Markey

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023

Source: Prowrestlingstories.com

Ken Patera is a legendary figure in the world of professional wrestling and weightlifting. His immense strength and athletic prowess made him a force to be reckoned with during his career. From his early days as an Olympic weightlifter to his iconic matches in the wrestling ring, Ken Patera has left a lasting impact on the sports industry.

In this article, we will explore 13 fascinating facts about Ken Patera that highlight his incredible journey and achievements. From his triumphs at the Pan American Games to his controversial altercation with a police officer, these facts provide a glimpse into the life of a true sporting icon.

So, whether you’re a fan of wrestling or simply curious about the life of a remarkable athlete, join us as we delve into the extraordinary world of Ken Patera.

Table of Contents

Early Life and Athletic Career

Ken Patera, born on November 6, 1942, in Portland, Oregon, had a remarkable athletic career. He participated in various sports, including football and track and field.

Professional Wrestling Debut

Patera made his professional wrestling debut in He quickly gained attention for his impressive strength and intense in-ring presence, becoming a fan favorite.

Olympic Weightlifter

Prior to his wrestling career, Patera represented the United States as an Olympic weightlifter. He competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics held in Mexico City.

Championship Success

Patera achieved notable success in the wrestling world, winning several championships throughout his career. He held titles such as the AWA World Heavyweight Championship and the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship.

Controversial Incident

In 1984, Patera was involved in a highly publicized incident where he threw a rock through the window of a McDonald’s restaurant after they refused to serve him. He faced legal consequences and a temporary suspension from wrestling.

Powerlifting Record

Patera was known for his exceptional strength. In 1971, he set a world record in powerlifting, lifting a combined total of 1,226 pounds in three different lifts.

WWE Hall of Fame Induction

In 2020, Ken Patera was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, cementing his legacy in the wrestling industry.

Post-Retirement Career

After retiring from professional wrestling, Patera pursued a career in coaching and training. He shared his knowledge and experience with aspiring athletes.

Strength and Conditioning Expert

Patera became a renowned strength and conditioning expert, providing guidance to athletes from various disciplines, including football, basketball, and mixed martial arts.

Personal Challenges

Despite his professional success, Patera faced personal challenges throughout his life. He openly spoke about his struggles with addiction and worked towards helping others overcome similar issues.

Contributions to the Community

Patera actively contributed to his community, supporting various charitable causes and participating in fundraisers to help those in need.

Influence on Future Generations

Ken Patera’s impact on professional wrestling and the world of strength and conditioning continues to inspire future generations of athletes.

Legacy in the Wrestling Industry

Ken Patera’s legacy in the wrestling industry will forever be remembered as a powerhouse competitor and a charismatic performer.


Ken Patera, a renowned professional wrestler and Olympic weightlifter, is a fascinating individual with many intriguing facts surrounding his career and life. From his achievements in weightlifting to his successful tenure in wrestling, Patera has left a lasting legacy in both sports. His incredible strength and determination have made him a beloved figure among fans and fellow athletes alike. Whether it’s his Olympic achievements, his tag team partnerships, or his involvement in various controversies, there is no denying that Ken Patera’s impact on the world of professional wrestling and weightlifting is unforgettable.


Q: What is Ken Patera known for?
A: Ken Patera is known for his accomplishments as both an Olympic weightlifter and a professional wrestler. He represented the United States in weightlifting at the 1972 Munich Olympics and later transitioned into the world of wrestling, where he achieved success in various promotions.

Q: What are some of Ken Patera’s weightlifting achievements?
A: Ken Patera won a silver medal in the heavyweight category at the 1971 Pan American Games. He also set multiple world records in the clean and jerk and snatch events during his weightlifting career.

Q: Which wrestling promotions did Ken Patera compete in?
A: Ken Patera competed in several wrestling promotions throughout his career, including the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), American Wrestling Association (AWA), and National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). He had notable feuds and partnerships with various wrestlers in these promotions.

Q: Did Ken Patera ever hold any championships in wrestling?
A: Yes, Ken Patera held championships in different promotions. He won the AWA World Heavyweight Championship, as well as the WWF Intercontinental Championship during his career.

Q: Was Ken Patera involved in any controversies?
A: Yes, Ken Patera was involved in a highly-publicized incident in 1984 where he was arrested for throwing a boulder through the window of a McDonald’s restaurant. This incident, along with some other altercations, resulted in legal troubles for Patera.