VINCE MCMAHON survived the brutal blows of his stepfather which made him want to “kill” him during his ascent from the trailer park to the WWE billionaire.
The 74-year-old is the CEO of the largest wrestling promotion in the world and is now one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies in helping American sport recover from the coronavirus crisis.
It has been more than 30 years since he bought his father – whom he did not even meet until he was almost a teenager – to take the head of the World Wrestling Federation and transform it into the world power it is today as a renowned WWE.
Despite his screen appearances, especially his rivalry with Stone Cold Steve Austin in the Attitude Era, McMahon has only rarely given insight into his personal life.
But Sun Sport has gone through the archives of time to make you travel, from humble beginnings and family troubles, to the man we all know today.
And from interviews with Headliners and legends with Matt Lauer, The New York Times, Playboy and Muscle & Fitness, here’s the story of Vince McMahon in his own words:
PARK ON WHEELS
“Most people think I was born with a silver spoon. I hope this is the case.
“I basically grew up in an eight foot wide New Moon trailer – which was not bad; a bit cramped from time to time.
” [A] the trailer park is not poverty. You don’t have a lot of privacy, but there are nice things about it. Everything is compact. And it beats some other places.
“Before that, I lived in Manly, North Carolina, in a house without interior plumbing. It could get a little confusing in winter.
“You never forget the rainy and cold days when you had to go so bad and the only place was outside the toilet. Likewise, you will never forget the real hot summer days either. It was quite fragrant, let me tell you.
“I grew up poor on earth. When you are in this lower economic class, everyone is, I quote, “above you”. And there were a number of people who thought they were above me because of their economic situation.
“It has always bothered me that people think they are better than me. I have developed a philosophy that no one is better than me, and at the same time I am not better than anyone. “
THE STEPDAD BAT
“My parents divorced and I went with my mother, Vickie. She was in the church choir. A real performer, an Elmer Gantry woman.
“Very striking, with an excellent voice. Lived with her and my real *** hole from a stepfather, a man who liked to kick the people around.
“I grew up in a very aggressive environment to say the least. That includes a number of individuals … defeating myself only because I had a big mouth and had to say what I had in mind.
“You would think that after being the recipient of many attacks, I would be wise, but I could not. I refused.
“I felt like I had to say something, even if I knew what the result would be.
“This particular stepfather that I didn’t get along with at all. Leo Lupton. It’s too bad he died before I could kill him. I would have liked that.
“Not that he didn’t have certain redemption qualities. He was an athlete, excellent in any sport, whom I admired, and I remember watching the Jackie Gleason Show with him. We used to laugh together at Jackie Gleason.
“When you are young and you face a man, you get the s *** beat from you.
“The first time I remember, I was six years old. The slightest provocation would trigger it. But I experienced it.
“I think you have to develop an attitude. From the severity I have known, taking many hits and things of this nature, I have developed a defensive philosophy that has served me well over the years. That is to say: if I lived whatever the contradictory position, I won. Whatever happens, if I breathe in and out, I win.
“So if you have that kind of philosophy, failure is not a big thing.
“There is simply no excuse for anything. I read about a guy who apologizes for his behavior because he comes from a broken house or he was beaten or sexually assaulted or ended up in the wrong crowd or what whatever – it all happened in my lifetime. But these are not excuses.
“This country offers you opportunities if you want to seize it, so don’t blame your environment. The world is a complex place. Very complex.
“Often you will find that the people you think are the good are not. And the people portrayed as the bad guys are not that bad.
“I don’t necessarily say they are good. But they are not that bad. They are misunderstood. “
LOST FATHER LONG
“My father should have been canonized. He was a wonderful man.
“I only met him when I was 12, and I fell in love with him the moment I met him. It was like going from rags to riches when I went to Washington, DC, to see it.
“There was just an instant attraction that my father felt and that I felt. He was just a brilliant, caring and brilliant man.
“At the age of 14, I was alone. I was pretty much a man at the time. Physically, at least. In other ways, I’m still becoming a man. “
“It’s frustrating for a child to know that you are different and that you don’t adapt. Maybe you are not as bright and you are laughing at yourself.
“The kids will. I guess maybe I always used the only common denominator when I was terribly frustrated like that, and that would of course be physicality.
“When [my son] Shane had suspected learning disabilities in high school, we put him on Ritalin. When I was in school, there was no Ritalin. Attention deficit disorder was not discovered, so I was just a bad child.
“I was always also in fights. They stopped and we were there, me and my group of guys, going there with the Marines… It was a challenge.
“Most of them were in very good condition, but they didn’t know how to choose a fight. I’m not saying these were easy choices.
“They started their testosterone and they were all drunk. Some of them were very hard. But I and my guys were street fighters.
“I mean, maybe you have basic training and you know how to use a bayonet.” It’s different from putting your finger in someone’s eye or hitting a guy in the throat.
” [I stole] automobiles. But I always brought them back. I just borrowed them, really. There have also been other thefts, and I sank a bunch of moonlight in Harlowe, North Carolina, in a 1952 Ford V8. It was a bad car at the time. “
“I could go to a state-supported institution, or I could go to military school. I went to Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“Military school is expensive. My mother was still my guardian and she couldn’t afford it. So my father was notified and he paid.
“My father was able, in his words,” to spring “for [Fishburne]. At 14, I had no reputation, so it was a new start, a great chance to start over and build a new reputation.
“Maybe I haven’t completely reinvented myself. I was the first cadet in the history of the school to go to court martial.
“I was lucky and a little cunning – I was not mistaken for something that would have meant an immediate dismissal, like the theft of the commander’s car.
“Colonel Zinneker had an old, battered green Buick, and he always left the keys there. He also had a dog he was crazy about.
“I love animals, but one day I couldn’t resist giving this dog a laxative. I put the laxative in a hamburger and the dog did his business all over the commander’s apartment, which got me very excited.
“But at least I started to change. No one really knew who I was at Fishburne. I had no reputation as a badass. “
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FATHER AND STRUGGLE
“It’s funny how you don’t know what you’re missing if you’ve never had it. Then when I met my father, I fell in love with him.
“We got very, very close, but we both knew we could never go back. There is a tendency to try to catch up, but you cannot.
“You missed these years. We would always be missing something, but there was no reason to discuss it. I was grateful to have had the chance to spend time with him.
“I saw it in summer and during the occasional vacation.
“He would take me to [wrestling] shows at the old Uline Arena in Washington, and I remember the reaction of the crowd and these larger-than-life individuals.
“The passion was so strong, I just knew I wanted to do it as soon as I saw it … My father always knew that I wanted to be in the company from the first exhibition. “