Sunday, December 6th, 2015 | Book Signing, Speaking | No Comments
December 10, 2015 – Mike will be part of the Pints and Politics program hosted by The Gazette newspaper of Cedar Rapids to discuss the legacy of Governor Terry Branstad. Mike has written the governor’s biography and will be one of several panelists discussing the governor’s record-setting career. The event will be held Dec. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lion Bridge Brewing Company, 16th Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids. The public is invited but seating is limited.
January 12, 2016 – Mike has been invited to discuss his popular book “Triumph and Tragedy” at the noon luncheon of the Altoona United Methodist Church at 602 5th Avenue in Altoona. The book was written in 2010 and tells the story of four legendary football players from the state who met tragic ends. They are Fred Becker, Iowa’s first All-American football player who was killed in combat along the Western Front in World War I; Jack Trice, who died as the result of injuries suffered in a 1923 football game for Iowa State University; Nile Kinnick, Iowa’s only Heisman Trophy winner who was killed on a pilot training mission off the coast of Venezuela on June 2, 1943, and Drake’s Johnny Bright, who was the top offensive player in the nation before being injured in a foul play during a game in 1951, knocking him out of the running for the Heisman Trophy. Mike has given the speech numerous times around the state, emphasizing the great qualities in these men and explaining why their stories are so relevant yet today.
January 29, 2016 – Columbia University in downtown New York City is celebrating “Nat Pendleton Night” at the wrestling dual meet against Harvard, and Mike will be the guest at a book signing and will give a speech on Nat’s role in the history of wrestling in America. Mike is the author of a new book called “Pendleton: The Amazing Story of Columbia’s Wrestling Olympian and Star of Hollywood”. Nat Pendleton was born in Iowa in 1895 and became one of America’s first amateur wrestling stars, winning two national titles and a silver medal in the 1920 Olympics. He then moved to Hollywood and appeared in nearly 100 movies, from the 1920s through the 1940s.
April 30, 2016 — Mike will be the guest speaker at the Charles City Excellence in Education Foundation’s fundraising and awards banquet at the Charles City Elks Lodge on April 30. The event is not open to the public.
July 3, 2016 – The first ever Frank Gotch Catch World Championships will be held in Humboldt, Iowa – the hometown of the legendary Frank Gotch — and Mike is one of the event organizers. He will have a booth of wrestling memorabilia on display at the event at Humboldt High School, and also many of his books and posters for sale. Catch wrestling is the type of wrestling that Gotch participated in during the start of the 20th Century and involves joint-lock submission holds not allowed in amateur wrestling.
SPECIAL NOTE: As the author of the forthcoming book, “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story”, Mike will be appearing with Governor Branstad at select book signings around the state. Dates have not yet been set but will be included here when the schedule is announced.
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, February 10th, 2015 | Awards, Wrestling | No Comments
The Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association has announced that Mike Chapman will be among those inducted into its Hall of Fame on April 18. The hall of fame is in its 45th year of recognizing outstanding individuals who have impacted wrestling in the state of Illinois.
Though born and raised in Iowa, Mike worked on three different newspapers in Illinois, for a total of nearly 15 years. His last job in Illinois was as executive editor of Sauk Valley Newspapers in Dixon, from 1988 to 1998. While there, he created WIN magazine, the nation’s top wrestling publication; the WIN Memorabilia Show, held each year during the NCAA Division I tournament with crowds of 10,000 or more, and the Dan Hodge Trophy given each year to the nation’s top collegiate wrestler.
“This was a wonderful surprise,” said Mike, when notified of his selection. “I have great admiration for the wresting heritage of Illinois and I am delighted to be a part of it, however small.”
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 | Speaking | No Comments
Chapman will speak at the Forest City Rotary Club at noon in Salveson Hall’s ballroom (106 S. Sixth St.) at Waldorf College. He will be at the Mansion Museum (336 N. Clark St.) from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. He will speak at Forest Plaza Assisted Living (635 Highway 9, E.) at 3 p.m. He will introduce and play one of Bob Baker’s films in the community room at Titonka Savings Bank (101 Highway 69, N.), starting at 7 p.m. Free admission with popcorn and refreshments.
Bob Baker, a singing cowboy in movies in the late 1930s, was born Stanley Leland Weed on Nov. 8, 1910, in Forest City. He was selected to star as a singing cowboy for Universal Studios in 1937, beating out several young men for the position – including Leonard Slye, who went on to become famous as Roy Rogers. Stanley’s parents were Guy and Ethel (Leland) Weed. He served in the U.S. Army, was a police officer in Arizona and ran a dude ranch. He died Aug. 29, 1975.
Mike Chapman is founder of Iowa History Journal, a magazine devoted to the preservation of history in Iowa. He retired from a 35-year newspaper career in 2002. He served as publisher of the Newton Daily News, as well as sports editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette and executive editor of the Sauk Valley Newspapers in Dixon, Illinois. He has written 26 books, and his articles have appeared in dozens of national and regional magazines. One of his novels, Lowell Park (about Ronald Reagan as a lifeguard in Lowell Park in the summer of 1932), has been purchased by a major movie company and is in preproduction.
The Winnebago Historical Society is housed in the 1899 Mansion Museum at 336 N. Clark St., in Forest City, and it oversees Heritage Park, a 91-acre park on the south edge of Forest City. Its mission is to educate children and adults through the Mansion Museum, reintroduce families to their past through the Leibrand-Whiteis Historical Center, and recreate the lives and livelihoods of our ancestors at Heritage Park of North Iowa.
For more information, contact Becky Gjendem at firstname.lastname@example.org or 641-590-5194.
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.
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 | Wrestling | No Comments
June 7 – Mike will be a special guest and exhibitor at a “catch” wrestling tournament held on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. The event is being run by “catch” expert Raul Ramirez and is called the “Catch Wrestling Alliance International Invitational: The Rebirth.” It will feature top competitors in the “catch” style from England and America, “Catch’ was the wrestling style popular in the early 1900s and a win can be claimed only by a submission or pin as there are no points awarded. Bouts 20 minutes. This event will be held Saturday, June 7, in Collins Court in the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA, at 221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90095-1612. More information is available at www.catchwrestlingalliance.com
Upcoming Speeches and Appearances
- March 29, 2017 – Flag Day, Knoxville Library