The blonde, strutting star of southeastern wrestling rings in the 1960s and 70s has died. Jackie Fargo had been hospitalized near his home in North Carolina for a week, being treated for congestive heart failure. He was two days short of his 83rd birthday.
Fargo, whose real name was Henry Faggart, became a household name in the Tennessee Valley in the early days of television. First a villain, later a hero in the largely scripted wrestling matches, he appeared regularly on Channels 3 and 12, which broadcast wrestling live on Saturday afternoons. He was a strong advocate of the local charity The 365 Club, which was affiliated with Siskin Hospital in helping children with disabilities.
Along with Don and Sonny Fargo, the "Fabulous Fargos" were a popular tag team, often pitted against the villainous Von Brauners or Tojo Yamamoto and other scheming partners. With bright blonde hair, sparkly uniforms, and his trademark "Fargo Strut," Jackie was among the most recognizable and charismatic wrestlers of his era.
Appearing almost weekly in Chattanooga, he helped sell out Memorial Auditorium and other nearby venues on a regular basis. He was also a popular attraction in larger Southern cities including Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham and Atlanta. Latter-day stars like Jerry Lawler and Ric Flair have often cited Fargo as a mentor and influence.
After retiring from the ring, Fargo remained active in professional wrestling as a manager and promoter. He continued to make personal appearances in recent years.
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