|Peter Rademacher with his daughter Susan|
Pete grew up in the state of Washington. He began his college education at Yakima Valley Junior College, then graduated from Washington State University.
In 1954, he and Margaret went to Fort Benning, Georgia where he had to complete his ROTC obligation. He was assigned to run a boxing program and was very successful. In the spring of 1956, he was instructed to begin training for the Olympics. Not long after he began, Margaret was approached by a colonel's wife at the Officer's Club and asked if she was excited about her husband trying out for the Olympics. Imagine her surprise because Pete had promised to give up boxing after they were married. She must have forgiven him, because he made the 1956 Olympic team and was sent to Australia to compete in the Heavy Weight division.
However, this is just the beginning of Pete Rademacher's time in history! When he came back he wanted to fight professionally and he did in a big way! Rademacher wanted to fight for the recently vacated Heavyweight Championship position. He would face World Champion Floyd Patterson. This would be the first Pro-Am fight ever! It was unheard of for an amateur to begin their professional career fighting a professional for the top spot. After contacting several managers and promoters and raising a $250,000 guarantee they signed the papers for the fight.
|"I took the count sitting on my duff, I couldn't get up."|
He continued to box for five more years and fought such fighters as Zora Foley, Brian London, Doug Jones, and Archie Moore. His last fight was April 4, 1962, in Honolulu against Bobo Olson. He retired after this fight with a record of 15-7-1.
Pete didn't leave boxing all together. He became a referee in the 1970's and in 1979 was the chief referee for the Cleveland Coliseum. In 1975, He was asked to be the referee for the Muhammad Ali-Chuck Wepner heavyweight championship, but was pulled out because Wepner's manager felt there was a conflict of interest due to the fact the Ali's trainer, Angelo Dundee, used to work with Rademacher during his boxing career.
One of the fights he did officiate was the "Sugar" Ray Leonard and Art McKnight match in 1978.
Radamacher moved his wife and three daughters, Susan, Helen and Margo to Medina in 1963 after meeting a building contractor and going to work for him. He then began working for Kiefer McNeil and after awhile became president. One of the products they manufactured was the material for Olympic swimming pool lanes. Pete was off to the Olympics again! This time representing the company in the 1976 Montreal games and the 1986 Los Angeles games. He retired in 1986.
In 1987, he became the American Cancer Society's director of [golf] tournaments and he raised more than one million dollars in 1989 and 1990.
In 1996, he and two of his daughters carried the Olympic torch through the streets of Cleveland.
Some of you might know Pete Rademacher because of his fun invention the "Radecycle". He thoroughly enjoyed driving his one wheel motorcycle in over 380 parades.
Pete came into the library and enjoyed seeing the display. I really recommend that everyone come and see this beautiful and historical display. It is an honor to be able to display it and know that Medina has such a treasure in Pete Rademacher.
Just a note about last weeks blog post. I had said the Family Tree software was not going to be available after 2017. However, I found out since then (thank you Pat!) that this is no longer correct. According to Ancestry they have sold their Mac and Windows Family Tree Maker to the company that makes their Mac version and they will be offering a Windows version of the software that will work with Ancestry. Details are on Dick Eastman's website - blog.eogn.com - posted on 2 February 2016.