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Vince McMahon is the chairman of the World Wrestling Federation, representing the third generation of McMahons in the business.
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Chairman of the World Wrestling Federation. Born August 24, 1945, in Pinehurst, North Carolina. McMahon represents the third generation of a professional wrestling dynasty: his grandfather, Jess McMahon, worked as a boxing and wrestling promoter, while his father, Vince McMahon, Sr., founded the Capitol Wrestling Corporation. Capitol dominated professional wrestling in the Northeastern United States during the mid-20th century, when the sport was divided into strictly regional enterprises.
As a teenager, Vince, Jr.--who was raised by his mother and met his father for the first time when he was 12 years old--was eager to get into the family business. He graduated from East Carolina University in 1968 with a degree in business administration; his father introduced him into the family business in 1971, making him the head of Capitol's operations in Bangor, Maine. After achieving success in Bangor, McMahon was made responsible for all New England-based operations. In 1982, he bought Capitol Wrestling from his father and began an expansion process that would fundamentally alter the character of professional wrestling in America.
McMahon recruited new talent and bought out competition across the country, forming a national conglomerate he called the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and a parent company called TitanSports, Inc. Professional wrestling had long hovered in an uncertain position--not considered by many to be a legitimate sport, it was also looked down upon as an unappealingly lowbrow form of entertainment. McMahon admitted that WWF wrestling was technically not a real sport, as the outcome of each match was known in advance. Instead, he played up its entertainment aspect, introducing wrestlers with theatrical personae and flashy costumes and staging elaborate displays for the benefit of the arena crowds and the cable audience. It worked--in 1987, the WWF sold $80 million in tickets to live events, according to Forbes magazine. The federation was also drawing record numbers of viewers to events on pay-per-view, closed circuit television.
In the early 1990s, McMahon and the WWF had a series of legal problems, culminating in the 1993 accusation by the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, New York, that McMahon and Titan Sports had supplied wrestlers with anabolic steroids from 1985 to 1991. During a trial, several former WWF wrestlers, included ex-federation star Hulk Hogan, admitted to using steroids during their careers and testified that the WWF had encouraged the abuse of these drugs, which had been declared illegal in 1988. McMahon was acquitted of most of the charges, although he was found guilty of conspiring to defraud the Food and Drug Administration.
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