Professional Wrestler Karl Von Hess Lot of Original Photos


Nice lot of 7 original photographs from the estate of Legendary Pro Wrestling Heel Karl Von Hess. Consists of one 8 x 10 (not sharply focused) depicting Von Hess in front of a flag and wearing a championship belt. Plus one 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch photo of Von Hess seated in full German persona outfit. Plus three 5 x 3 1/2 inch as Frank Faketty (prior to his Von Hess persona). One of these has his handwritten address on the back for wrestler Jackie Fargo (cool piece!). Plus one 5 x 4 inch publicity pic with 4 images showing Von Hess with Willie Gilzenberg ?? of Capitol Wrestling / WWWF fame. Finally one 3 1/2 x 3 inch publicity handout pic of Karl Von Hess. Nice lot of 7 original photographs for fans of Capitol / WWWF early days!

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Frank Faketty was born in Michigan in 1919 to Hungarian immigrants, and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Von Hess was a lifeguard and swimming teacher before entering the United States Navy in World War II serving aboard the cruiser USS Montpelier in the Underwater Demolition Team 5. After being discharged from the Navy, Faketty worked on the carnival circuit for several years, then worked in various regional wrestling promotions.  In 1955, he was inspired by another wrestler, Kurt Von Poppenheim of the Pacific Northwest region who had a local heel gimmick, and there Von Hess further developed the gimmick of the villain into the wrestling persona of a Nazi sympathizer there being the first to take the gimmick nationwide. In doing this, Von Hess became one of the most hated wrestlers; and fans flocked to the arenas to boo him. He adopted the name of Karl Von Hess, later changing his name legally. Von Hess was so convincing as a “heel” that some fans tried to stab him, burn him, and even shoot at him.  Von Hess quickly rose to fame in  Vince McMahon Sr’s Capitol / World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), drawing huge crowds wherever he went. In truth, he was reportedly, not a Nazi sympathizer, but used the gimmick to inspire the position of the villainous “heel”.  In the early 1960s, Von Hess’s gimmick began to wear thin, and he was gradually phased out of the WWWF. He continued to work in various wrestling promotions before quitting the business in the late 1960s.  After wrestling, Von Hess operated trailer parks, including the Karl-Le trailer park on the Black Horse pike in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and other businesses with his wife Lenore.  Von Hess died on August 12, 2009