World Wrestling Entertainment continues to be globally-recognized sports brand with a massive following. With megastars like Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar on the roster today, WWE grew from a fledgling organization into a powerhouse company with the help of some global icons.
It’s roots run deep with hundreds of iconic wrestlers, but no one arguably had a greater impact on the sport than Andre the Giant, and if there’s anything you need to know about the massive man, just find an old photograph to get the idea of how big of human he was, but you have to dig deeper to understand his even larger personality.
André René Roussimoff was born on May 19, 1946 in Grenoble, France. Earning a billing as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the 7-foot-4, 520-pounder was born with excessive growth hormones that later caused acromelagy, which comes with numerous health issues as a person ages. Still, that wasn’t enough to slow down Andre the Giant’s rise to fame.
Debuting in professional wrestling in 1964, he toured around Europe toting his incredible size and stature. After moving to Montreal, he caught the eye of WWE founder Vince McMahon, who finally debuted Andre the Giant in the World Wrestling Federation at Madison Square Garden in 1973.
Making global appearances with the WWF and New Japan Pro Wrestling, he squared off with legendary pro wrestlers like “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Killer Kahn, Big John Studd and The Big Show.
An epic feud with Hulk Hogan climaxed at Wrestlemania III, where Hogan successfully defended his WWF World Heavyweight Championship against Andre in an all-time classic match. The rumor exists that Andre drank 14 bottles of wine prior to the match, and that in itself is just incredible.
After American television roles in Bigfoot, The Six Million Dollar Man, Andre acted in a role alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Destroyer (1984), and he was later a co-star alongside Cary Elwes in his best-known movie role as Fezzik, a gigantic wrestler from Greenland in The Princess Bride (1987).
Andre the Giant’s allure as an incredible physical specimen extended far beyond his professional wrestling career — He once apparently drank 119 12-ounce beers in a single sitting over a SIX-HOUR period.
Even after Andre the Giant’s death caused by congestive heart failure at age 46 in Paris, his massive aura continues to be admired around the world to this day.
Reddit thread r/OldSchoolCool unearthed this incredible photograph of him casually holding a woman in Cannes, France back in 1967, and it’s everything you need to know about Andre the Giant’s larger-than-life personality in one swoop.
Andre Roussimoff was a massive French professional wrestler, an incredible human being, and just the coolest dude at the beach on any given day. I mean, it’s hard not to be when you’re 7-foot-4, right?