The Patriarch of the Adkisson family doesn't have a ring to it does it? But Fritz Von Erich, Patriarch of the Von Erichs, that sings and more importantly sells tickets. Jack Adkisson changed his name to Fritz Von Erich, and the rest was history. Often tragic history, but history none the less. Before he was Fritz, he was Jack, a track athlete and football player at SMU. Fritz was born on this day back in 1929.
Adkisson attended Crozier Tech, otherwise known as Dallas High, he went to state in the discus in 1948. He went to SMU that fall and by 1949, the 6-4, 220 "giant" Adkisson played a significant role on Matty Bell's Southwest Conference contender. His teammate was the legend Doak Walker who's fame was unmatched in college football. 70,000 plus regularly packed the Cotton Bowl, aka the House the Doak Built and Adkisson was there doing the dirty work for the All-American back.
Adkisson also threw the discus for the Mustangs topping 162 feet with regularity, among the best in the league.
After his sophomore year, Adkisson transferred to the University of Corpus Christi where he played for the Tarpon's football team. Apparently, his marriage to his high school sweetheart Doris cost him his scholarship at SMU. After one season with the Tarpons Adkisson hired on with the Corpus Christi Fire Department.
After Corpus, Adkisson had a short stint with the Dallas Texans before taking up what would become his profession and his family's legacy, wrestling. He changed his name to Fritz Von Erich and teamed with his "brother" Waldo Von Erich to play upon America's disdain for Germany, and a legend was born.
His sons Kevin, David, Kerry, Mike, and Chris followed in his footsteps in the ring. Adkisson died in 1997, and of his six sons only Kevin survived Fritz' passing and is alive today. David passed away in Japan in 1984 while on tour. Kerry committed suicide in 1993. Mike committed suicide in 1987. Chris took his life in 1991.
Thinks a thought for the Von Erichs today.