Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 | Books | No Comments
Mike’s newest book has just been published, and is entitled “A Journey: Reflections on 50 Years of Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting, and Heroes.” The book is 286 pages long with over 130 photos, most of them involving famous figures.
In the book, the author talks about a wide range of celebrities he has met over his long journalism career – including Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Lou Ferrigno Ed Asner, and various Olympic champions and many other stars of sports, entertainment and politics.
Growing up in Waterloo, Iowa, Mike describes what life was like in the 1950s, and explains how his love of comic book heroes shaped his attitude towards life. He also talks about his three years in the U.S. Navy, where he was involved in several nerve-wracking events, including time spent working on “ghost ships” from World War II.
Considered the nation’s leading historian on the sport of wrestling, he includes numerous behind-the-scenes stories of pro ring legends like Lou Thesz and Verne Gagne, and amateur stars like Dan Gable and Dan Hodge. Mike has attended 45 NCAA wrestling championships and has known many of the biggest names in wrestling, including a dozen Olympians and several of the top stars of mixed martial arts, like Dan Severn and Randy Couture.
During his 35-year newspaper career, Mike won numerous awards for his work and is a member of nine halls of fame. He is an acknowledged authority on such diverse topics as Achilles and Tarzan of the Apes. In the book, he tells about his incredible trip to the ancient battlefield of Troy in 2006, when he attempted to spend a night on the Plain of Troy, and of becoming friends with four movie Tarzans.
He also discusses his attempts to break into Hollywood with movie projects, three of which are still very much alive.
“A Journey: Reflections on 50 Years of Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting and Heroes” is published by Culture House of Newton, Iowa. It is $19.95 plus $5 for S&H. Persons wishing to order the book can send a check for $24.95 to Culture House, 3830 Harbor Avenue, Newton, IA 50208, or call Culture House at 641-791-3072.
Thursday, February 9th, 2017 | Book Signing, Books, Speaking, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments
February 10, 2017 – The inaugural class for the Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted prior to the Jefferson basketball game and Mike has been asked to represent Larry and Ted Lawrence, who are both deceased. There will be a social in the Jefferson Cafeteria at 4:30 p.m., with a hall of fame ceremony to follow at 5:15 p.m.
There will also be a brief presentation between the girls and boys varsity basketball games in the gymnasium and then a social and greeting time back in the cafeteria.
Larry Lawrence was an all-state football and basketball player at Jefferson and went on to become a star quarterback at Iowa for two seasons. He also played two seasons each in the Canadian Football League and the NFL. Larry died of heart problems in 2012 at the age of 63. Mike and Larry became good friends when Mike was sports editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette in the years 1978 to 1984 and they even co-hosted the Mr. Iowa contest in 1983, when Larry owned Ra Power Fitness Center. They remained in close contact until Larry’s death. His father, Ted, was a legendary high school coach at Jefferson for many years.
March 1, 2017 – Mike is producing a documentary on Bill Smith, one of the most important figures in American wrestling history. Bill was 1952 Olympic wrestling champion, an undefeated, 2-time NCAA champion in college and coach of the San Francisco Olympic Club team, leading it to 7 national team tiles in the 1960s. In this documentary, you will see many rare photos of Bill’s illustrious career, and be with Bill as the University of Northern Iowa dedicates its official mat in his honor in 2013. Then Bill reminisces about his 70 years in the Sport of Wrestling. Coming in March of 2017.
March 16-18, 2017 – As a guest of the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mike will be signing many of his 28 published books and will have the new Bill Smith DVD documentary available. Dale Anderson, two-time NCAA champion for Michigan State in the 1960s, will be with Mike and selling copies of his new book, “A Spartan Journey: Michigan State’s 1967 Miracle on the Mat”. Mike wrote the introduction to the book and Dan Gable wrote the foreword. The WIN Memorabilia Show is free and open to the public.
March 29, 2017 – Mike will be the featured speaker at Flag Day held at the Knoxville Library. He will give a talk on “Iowans of Impact”, based on his book of the same name, and on his book “Triumph and Tragedy” which tells the stories of football heroes Fred Becker and Nile Kinnick, who lost heir lives while serving in World War I and World War II, respectively. The talk begins at I p.m. and is open to the public. Contact the Knoxville Library for further details.
Monday, February 1st, 2016 | Book Signing, Books, Radio | No Comments
Mike will be travelling the state to do some book signings with Governor Terry Branstad for the recently released biography about Branstad ““Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story.” Here are some dates:
- Feb. 2 – Newton YMCA from 11:20 am-12:30 p.m.
- Feb. 9 – Sullivan Brothers Museum, Waterloo, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
On Feb. 4, 8:30 am. — Mike will be on the Van and Bonnie radio talk show on WHO (1040) in Des Moines, talking about the book.
On Feb. 9, 10:30 a.m. — Governor Branstad and Mike will be on KXEL radio (1540) in Waterloo taking about the book.
You can listen live to both radio stations on their sites.
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 | Books | No Comments
Holding his latest book, “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story”, Mike Chapman (left) poses with the governor on Dec. 14 at a banquet celebrating Branstad becoming the longest serving governor in American history. Some 1,300 persons attended the event and each was given a copy of the book with their ticket. Mike worked on the book for 18 months and conducted interviews with 33 different people, and had 10 private meetings with the governor. The book can be purchased on Amazon and will soon be available at various book stores around the state. Book signings with the governor and Mike are being scheduled at various locations. It is Mike’s 28th published book.
Thursday, May 14th, 2015 | Book Signing, Books, Movie Scripts, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments
May 18 – As the author of 27 books, Mike will be speaking to a creative writing class at West Waterloo High School, talking to young students about the joy of writing and how to get started as a writer. He will also discuss his latest adventures in Hollywood, with two movie projects under way. Mike has talked to these West Waterloo writing classes five times in recent years for Donna Huff, teacher extraordinaire (and wife of wrestling coaching legend Don Huff) and enjoys it very much.
June 27-30 – One of the biggest wrestling events of the summer is set for June 27-July 2 in Orlando, Florida, where the Scholastic Duals Wrestling Tournament will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Over 1,600 wresters are expected to compete. The AAU Wrestling Hall of Fame banquet will be held on June 29, and Mike will be the featured speaker at the banquet. Mike was inducted into the AAU hall of fame in 2005 but this is the first year he has been able to attend the event. Mike and Bev will have several tables of wrestling items for display and for sale during the wrestling tournament.
July 11 – Mike and Bev will be the guests at the 2015 Midwest National Wrestling Tournament in Bloomington, Illinois. The event will be held at the Shirk Center on Illinois Wesleyan University campus, with over 1,000 wrestlers expected to compete. Mike and Bev will have several tables of memorable items for display and books, posters and card for sale. Plan to stop by and visit them.
Sept. 15 – On this date, Mike will be the featured speaker at the “Golden Opportunities” program for senior adults at the First Baptist Church in Marshalltown, beginning at 11 a.m. He will talk about his books “Triumph and Tragedy” and “Lowell Park”, as well as his overall writing career.
Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 | Books, Radio, Wrestling | No Comments
Mike was a guest on No Holds Barred, hosted by Eddie Goldman, discussing his recently completed book on undefeated college wrestler, 1920 Olympic silver medalist wrestler, pro catch wrestler and shooter, and Hollywood actor Nat Pendleton
The conversation covered Pendleton wrestling for Columbia (which had the first college wrestling program in the country), where he never lost a match; his national tournament titles; his Olympic silver medal; and his days as in the pro wrestling world.
The conversation also covered a legendary pro catch wrestling match which Nat Pendleton had in 1923 with the great John Pesek, which is one of the last real, or shoot, matches in pro wrestling. Held in Boston with heavy newspaper coverage, Pesek was able to defeat Pendleton by submission in two straight falls.
Finally, there was discussion on the legacy of Nat Pendleton for college wrestling and his alma mater, Columbia; the lessons of the devolution of catch wrestling last century into a staged spectacle; what the re-emerging catch wrestling movement of today has to learn about good governance of the sport and the battle against corruption from the tragedy of the real sport’s demise in the past; and much more.
You can listen to the podcast here:
Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 | Books | No Comments
The amazing career of Nat Pendleton is the subject of an exciting new book by Mike, generally recognized as one of the nation’s leading wrestling historians and authors. Pendleton is one of the most important figures in early American wrestling history. Born in Iowa in 1895, he was an undefeated college star at Columbia University in New York City, a two-time AAU national champion, and silver medal winner in the 1920 Olympics.
Nat turned to pro wrestling during its transitional period from athletic contest to show business and participated in one of the most talked-about matches in pro wrestling history. His opponent in that 1923 match was the feared submission expert, John Pesek, and the outcome has been the subject of considerable discussion for nearly nine decades.
Shortly after the match, Nat moved to Hollywood and appeared in nearly 100 movies – one of the most successful athletes to ever appear in films!
The book has 60 photos, some never published before. The foreword was written by Andy Barth, who was a Colombia University wrestling team captain many decades after Nat Pendleton held the same position. Andy is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and one of wrestling’s top supporters. Here is part of what Andy wrote: “I want to thank Mike Chapman for working so diligently to research and write this biography. This is a great read that touches at the core of what the sport of wrestling can do for young men and women to strengthen and develop their character in the areas of determination, perseverance and a will to succeed. I am proud to have walked the same halls and shared in the same heritage as Nat Pendleton.”
You can add this book to your wrestling library for just $14.95, and $5 for shipping and handling. Send a check or money order for $19.95 to — Culture House, P.O. Box 293, Newton, Iowa, 50208, or call 641-791-3072 for more information.
Monday, August 18th, 2014 | Book Signing, Books, Iowa History Journal | No Comments
Mike was a special guest at the Iowa History Journal booth at the Iowa State Fair last week. He signed dozens of books for fairgoers and hung out with Michael and Rebecca Swanger, the new owners of Iowa History Journal. Bev also worked at the Fair two days.
Upcoming Speeches and Appearances
- March 29, 2017 – Flag Day, Knoxville Library