Jim Browning, Ex-Wrestling Champ, Dies

Associated Press – June 19, 1936

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Jim Browning, once recognized in some states as heavyweight wrestling champion, died here this afternoon. He succumbed in St. Mary’s hospital from pulmonary embolism, a condition of blood clots in the lung.

The wrestler underwent an exploratory operation about 10 days ago in connection with an abdominal ailment. His condition improved until three days ago when complications developed.

When Browning launched his wrestling career several years ago he was billed as the farmer from Verona, Mo., where he resided until his popularity as a mat performer made it necessary for him to travel extensively.

He won recognition as a champion in New York after the athletic commission of that state stripped Jim Londos of his title for refusing to meet Ed (Strangler) Lewis. Browning then threw Lewis, becoming champion in New York and the states having a working agreement with the New York commission.

After four years of dickering Browning and Londos were brought together in New York on June 25, 1934 and Londos won. Thereafter, Browning was just another wrestler, although he continued to tour the country and make money.

Frank Smith, former sports editor of the Chicago Tribune, was Browning’s manager until Smith’s death in Toronto three years ago.

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