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Dan McLeod (1860 - June 20, 1958) was the ring name of a Canadian catch wrestler of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, who held the American Heavyweight Championship twice. Born George Little in Hamilton, Ontario, he worked as a miner in Nanaimo, British Columbia and wrestled his first match in 1889, winning the Pacific Coast heavyweight championship that same year. His fanciful public profile claimed that he was born Dan S. McLeod in the Scottish Highlands in 1867.
On October 26, 1897, McLeod defeated Martin Burns to win the American Heavyweight Championship, which he would retain for four years. The most notable incident during his reign as champion came far away from the media spotlight when on June 18, 1899, McLeod met and defeated a young Frank Gotch in a hard-fought impromptu match on a cinder track. It was Gotch's very first professional match and he later recounted that McLeod had hustled all involved by pretending to be a simple furniture dealer from a neighboring town, but was sufficiently impressed by Gotch's talent to leave him a visiting card revealing his true identity.
McLeod's reign as champion came to an end on November 7, 1901 when he was defeated by Tom Jenkins. Amid a series of rematches between the two men, McLeod recaptured the title on Christmas Day 1902 but lost it back to Jenkins the following April.
After retirement, McLeod worked as a wrestling instructor at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Championships and accomplishments
- American Heavyweight Championship (2 times)