Born: July 15, 1910 – Jetmore, Kansas
Died: August 27, 1987
Graduated: Kinsley (KS) High School, 1930; University of Kansas, 1935
One of 10 children of German immigrant parents, Peter Joseph Mehringer was born and raised on a farm near Kinsley, Kansas, learned to wrestle from a correspondence course and later became an Olympic champion.
High School Highlights
Because Kinsley High School did not offer wrestling as a sport, Mehringer was his own coach and won the state meet as a sophomore in 1928. Two years later, he hitch-hiked to the state meet as a senior and won the heavyweight title to complete an unbeaten prep career.
Two-Sport Star at KU
Mehringer attended the University of Kansas and finished second in the 1932 NCAA Championship as a heavyweight. At the age of 22, he won the Olympic gold medal at 191 pounds during the 1932 Games in Los Angeles. As a football player at KU, Mehringer was named All-Big Six as a defensive tackle in 1932 and ’33, and second-team All-American. He was named to Notre Dame’s all-opponent team in 1933 when he blocked two punts and had nearly half of his team’s tackles against the Irish. He played in the first-ever College All-Star Game in Chicago in 1934 and went on the play professional football for 13 season, the last 10 with Los Angeles.
Mehringer was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1983.