Hulk Hogan is arguably the most popular professional wrestler in the history of the sport. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea, is an Augusta, Georgia native who entered the wrestling scene after working in the fitness industry. Terry Bollea received his first break in professional wrestling after working out in a gym that was owned by wrestlers Jack and Jerry Brisco.
Hogan’s wrestling career began in 1977 for the Championship Wrestling from Florida promotion. Bollea attended Hillsborough Community College, and then the University of South Florida in Tampa. His interest in wrestling eclipsed his pursuit of music, and he left college to endeavor in a career in wrestling.
The Birth of Hulk Hogan
Bollea donned the nickname of “The Hulk” after being on a local radio show in Tennessee with Lou Ferrigno. Ferrigno, who played The Incredible Hulk, noticed that Bollea was bigger than him. This led to Bollea becoming “The Hulk,” with Vince McMahon giving him the name Hulk Hogan when he debuted for WWF in 1979. This WWF run led to the start of his acting career, as he was cast as Thunderlips on Rocky III after Sylvester Stallone saw him on New York television.
Hogan’s initial WWF run was short-lived, as he began competing for New Japan Pro Wrestling and the American Wrestling Association. After gaining even more popularity while competing for these promotions, he returned to the WWE just three years later.
Hogan’s career skyrocketed when he became to top babyface of the company, and he became WWF Champion by defeating The Iron Sheik in 1983. Hogan’s tenure as WWF World Heavyweight Champion led to more opportunities as a television personality outside of WWE in-ring action, and also propelled the commencement of WrestleMania.
In 1987, Hogan competed against Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III, which is still to this day one of the most memorable matches in WWE history, as well as the dawn of “Hulkamania.” According to a 1987 story from the Chicago Tribune, Hogan’s “annual income reaches seven figures now,” which is a rare achievement by a pro wrestler during those days.
Hulk Hogan Net Worth
Now, The Hulkster has a net worth around $25 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Because of his popularity while competing for the World Wrestling Federation, he earned acting opportunities to star in movies such as Thunder in Paradise, No Holds Barred, Suburban Commando, and numerous television appearances along with a short-lived television show, Hogan Knows Best. Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, and his resume has made him not only one of the richest pro wrestlers in the United States, but of the world.
In 2007, Hulk Hogan’s net worth was met with a nasty split from his wife Linda Hogan, as the two had major legal issues regarding possessions. The couple officially divorced in 2009.
Just this year, MSN.com reported that Hogan’s now ex-wife, Linda Claridge, has brought him back to court, due to feeling that he hid money from her for years, which violated their court agreement. Particularly, the $115 settlement Hogan received after suing for invasion of privacy after Gawker reported a hidden sex tape of Hogan with the wife of Bubba the Love Sponge, Heather Clem.