Trivia Ted’s real birth name was Ted Willis but when his real Mother re-married Mike DiBiase they had the original birth certificate amended to Theodore Marvin DiBiase Sr.
Ted never knew his real father except that he was a backup singer for Country singer Tennessee Ernie Ford. His stepdad Iron Mike died in the ring when Ted was only 15 & his mother Helen Hild went into a deep depression.
Because of this she was no longer capable to care for Ted so he moved in with his grandparents in Arizona. He was offered & accepted a Football scholarship to attend West Texas State University & while he was in school he began his wrestling trainin
Ted’s stepfather was also a professional wrestler under the name of ‘Iron’ Mike DiBiase who began his career in 1956, he passed away in 1969 and on 15 July 2006 he was inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thez Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.
The Funk brother Dory Funk Jr. & Terry Funk trained Ted for the squared circle & he dropped out of college to become a full-time wrestler. He began his wrestling career on the Oklahoma independent circuit.
From there he went to Japan very briefly and then to MSW (Mid-South Wrestling) where he would hold the MSW North American Championship 5-times & the MSW Tag Team Tiles 5-times with 4 different partners.
Early in 1979 he beat the famous Fritz Von Erich (Jack Barton Adkisson) to win the North American Heavyweight Championship & he took the title with him to the WWF where he was acknowledged as the 1st ever WWF North American Champion.
On 19 June he lost the title to Pat Patterson and it was then renamed the WWF Intercontinental Championship. In 1980 he returned to MSW and also wrestled in the UWF.
During this time he won the MSW North American Heavyweight title in February 1980, the NWA United National Heavyweight title in October 1983, the Mid-South Tag Team titles 3-times & the UWF Team Team titles 1-time.
In 1987 he returned to the WWF as “The Million Dollar Man” and he would ware a gold-studded, dollar-sign-covered suit & a custom-made “Million Dollar Belt” that was diamond-studded around his waist.
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