Bob "Legs" Langevin, who wrestled from the 1930s to the 1950s entered St. Luc hospital with a broken shoulder. They have since discovered he also has leukemia." />

 

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   Wed, October 27, 2004



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Legs Langevin hospitalized
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling


From left: Paul Leduc, his son Carl and Bob Langevin in 1996. -- courtesy Paul Leduc

One of the most important figures in the history of Canadian pro wrestling is in a Montreal hospital. The 91-year-old Bob "Legs" Langevin, who wrestled from the 1930s to the 1950s entered St. Luc hospital with a broken shoulder. They have since discovered he also has leukemia.

Langevin was also the figurehead promotion for Johnny Rougeau's Montreal promotion over the years, and used his heavy political connections -- he was a friend and bodyguard to former Liberal Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent -- to help get working papers for internationals like Edouard Carpentier.

"That guy did so much. When he was working for Johnny, all the European wrestlers that came to Canada, that was because of his contact with the federal government to get the working papers. A long time ago, it was very, very hard to get working papers," said Paul Leduc, who brought Legs a radio and some classical music CDs.

Langevin was positive when SLAM! Wrestling talked with him Tuesday evening. "I've been here for two, three day but I have a few more before I go home," he said. "I fell, you see, and the shoulder, I broke a shoulder when I fell down." Legs laughed when it was pointed out that wrestlers are supposed to know how to fall properly. "I know! I know!"

At 19, while wrestling in St. Jerome, Quebec, he was attacked by a fan with a piece of wire. The attack left him impotent and he has outlived all his other relatives. Langevin claimed not to mind. "I've been alone my whole life, so that doesn't bother me, to be alone," he said.

Leduc begs to differ, and said Langevin, who had been battling depression as well, was jubilant to see him. "He was so happy. He was pressing me into his arms. It was a hard time to let me go." Leduc is disappointed that the old guard around Montreal hasn't come to visit their old friend. "Between the old wrestlers, the old gang, there's no relations, there's nothing. So you can imagine between the old school and the new generation, there's nothing. You don't see that in hockey, baseball, football or other things."

The story of Legs Langevin is one of the most fascinating in Canadian history, let alone wrestling history.

Consider that he's received the Order of Canada, been decorated by the Queen and received a papal blessing from Pope John-Paul II. Since his first battle with cancer 40 years ago-Leduc and Johnny Rougeau stayed at his side for three days, not expecting him to survive a colostomy-Langevin has been a tireless worker for charities, like the Canadian Cancer Society.

"That guy had a fantastic life," said Leduc.

For more on Legs Langevin and his amazing life, read Greg Oliver's feature on him.


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  • Learn more about Langevin and Canadian wrestling
    Order The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Canadians

    Greg Oliver founded SLAM! Wrestling with John Powell way back in 1996, and has been writing about pro wrestling since 1985. He is the author of the recently published book The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Canadians from ECW Press. Order it from the SLAM! Wrestling Store. He can be emailed at goliver845@gmail.com.