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The veteran Canadian wrestler on coming out in the tough-guy world of WWE


PAT PATTERSON began his wrestling career as a teenager in the late 1950s in Montreal and soon realized that if he wanted to fulfill his dreams of becoming a top wrestling star he would have to move to the U.S.—even though he didn’t speak English. The French-Canadian moved south in the 1960s and quickly began to impress promoters in traditional wrestling towns like Boston and Portland, Oregon. He even gained the respect of all-time great Bruno Sammartino, who was as close as wrestling came to having a figure with the stature of Muhammad Ali.

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