Fred Becker

Upcoming Events this Summer and Fall 2017

Saturday, June 10th, 2017 | Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

June 10 – Friends of Wayne Baughman are honoring the legendary wrestler, coach and Air Force officer with a celebration on Saturday, June 10, and Mike will be one of the featured speakers. Wayne won 16 national titles during his amazing career and was a member of three Olympic and eight World teams. Wayne is featured in two of Mike’s book – “Toughest Men in Sports” and “Legends of the Mat”. The event is being held on the Air Force Academy grounds and is closed to the public.

June 15 – Mike will be at a book signing in the popular restaurant bar named Illegal Pete’s from 5 to 7 p.m., in Fort Collins, Colorado. The resultant, located at 320 Walnut Street, is managed by Jacquie Chapman, daughter of Mike and Bev. Mike will be signing copies of his latest book “A Journey: Reflections on 50 Years of Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting and Heroes”. Mike was sports editor of The Coloradoan newspaper in the 1970s and the book has many stories about his time in Fort Collins. Appearing with Mike will be two men featured in the book – Kim Jones and Bill Larson, who both played football at Colorado State University and then went on to long careers in the NFL. The event is open to the public.

July 15 – For the second straight year, Humboldt, Iowa, will be the site of the Frank Gotch World Catch Tournament, to be held at Humboldt High School. The event, sanctioned and put on by the Catch Wrestling Alliance of Los Angeles, begins at 10 am at the high school, 1500 Wildcat Road. Mike will be there at 9 am with a table of Frank Gotch items on display, and for sale. Mike was a co-founder of the tournament last year, and this year’s sponsors are the Humboldt & Dakota City chamber, Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Drink and Spout Living.

July 30 – Legendary wrestler Farmer Burns will be the main subject of conversation at the meeting of the Cedar County Historical Society, where Mike and Wesley Fox will give speeches.  Martin “Farmer” Burns was born in Cedar County near Big Rock in 1861 and became one of the most respected athletic figures of the early 20th century. He was recognized as a world wrestling champion for several years and then became a top coach and trainer, as well. Mike and Wesley have done extensive research on the career of Farmer Burns. The event will be held at the Cedar County Museum, located at 1094 Hwy. 38 in Tipton. It starts at 1:30 p.m. and the public is invited.

August 3-5 – Mike will be one of the special guests at the 2017 Dum Dum held at the Quality Inn and Suites in Coldwater, Michigan. The annual event is the largest gathering of fans in the world to celebrate the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author who created Tarzan of the Apes and other characters such as John Carter of Mars.  Other special guests are Jim Sullos, president of ERB., Inc.; Martin Powell, writer for ERB., Inc.; Bo Hampton, artist for Dark Horse Comics; Bob Zueschner, author of “Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Biography,” and Cathy and Tyler Wilbanks, of Team ERB. The host for the event is Michael Hatt, author of the book “Tarzan Slept Here”, which details the times Burroughs stayed in Coldwater.
Mike has written two books about actors who played Tarzan in the movies and his latest memoirs has a lot of Tarzan stories in it. He will have all three books for sale, along with other Tarzan memorabilia.
The dum dum is a gathering of apes that Tarzan called by beating on jungle drums. Mike hosted Dum Dum events in 1997 (Newton, Iowa), 2004 (Fort Collins,Colorado) and 2008 (Waterloo, Iowa) and is a recipient of the Golden Lion Award, given out by the Burroughs Bibliophiles to persons who have to perpetuate the memory of ERB and his works.

August 29 – Mike will be the featured guest speaker at the Winterset Public Library, speaking about the many great Iowans he has written abut, both in books and in magazines. The event starts at 6:30 p.m.and is open to the public. Mike will have copies of his many books for display and for sale.

September 10 – The Johnston Public Library is hosting Mike for a speech about famous Iowans, based on his many books and years of research.  The event starts at 3 p.m. and is open to the public. The library is located at 6700 Merle Hay Road in Johnston.

September 16 – Mike will be a guest at the Author’s Fair at the Waverly Public Library, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. There will be a number of authors present and the public is invited to attend, at no charge.

October 5 – Wrestling will be the topic of his speech when Mike is a guest at the Monticello Public Library in Monticello, Iowa, beginning at 6 pm. He will talk about the grand history of the sport, going back 5000 years to ancient Sumer (now called Iraq) and will also discuss Iowa’s tremendous heritage in the sport. Mike will have copies of his many books for display and for sale. The public is invited to attend.

October 17 – Mike will give a speech at the Clear Lake Library about famous Iowa football players discussed in his popular book, “Triumph and Tragedy”. The four legendary players are Fred Becker, the University of Iowa’s first All-American who died in 1918 while fighting in France during World War I; Jack Trice, whose very limited play at Iowa State in 1923 inspired the school to name its football stadium for him; Nile Kinnick, who in 1939 won the Heisman Trophy as a Hawkeye then lost his life in a plane crash during World War II, and Drake’s Johnny Bright, who was the nation’s top player in the early 1950s. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

October 28 – The Kothe Memorial Library in Parkersburg will host Mike for a speech on the grand historic past and legacy of wrestling, beginning at 11 a.m. Mike will have several unique wrestling items on display as well as many of his books on wrestling and famous Iowans. The event is open to the public.

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February and March 2017 Appearances

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.

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Iowa History Journal Volume 4, Issue 2 Now Available

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

In 1917, Earl Caddock of Walnut, Iowa, defeated Joe Stecher of Dodge, Nebraska, to win the world heavyweight wrestling championship. The victory catapulted Caddock into the national spotlight and made him one of the most popular athletes in the entire nation. Shortly after, he signed up to fight in World War I and eventually suffered lung damage from a mustard gas attack in France. After the war, Earl came home to Iowa and became a successful businessman, family man, and devout Christian. His story, written by wrestling historian Mike Chapman, is both heroic and inspirational.

Readers will also be treated to feature stories on Fort Dodge’s legendary marching band composer Karl L. King, older Iowans known as “Graybeards” who served in the Civil War, WHO Radio’s Jack Shelley and the Bogenrief glass cutting studio in Spencer.

Also included in this issue:

  • Lillian Blanche Fearing blazed a trail for blind women over a century ago
  • How the city of Oelwein got its name and the importance of the railroad to that Fayette County community
  • A book review of the photographic career of Iowa newspaper professional Joan Liffring-Zug Bourret
  • Waterloo names its newest school for Fred Becker, Iowa’s first All-America football player
  • The Iowa History Quiz
  • Columns by our regulars – Arvid Huisman, John McNeer and Mike Chapman

…and much more!

Read more to see what’s inside this issue…

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Mike’s Speaking Schedule For Early 2012

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 | Book Signing, Speaking | No Comments

Mike has a busy schedule of appearances in the coming months.

January 24 – Mike will be the featured speaker at the dedication of the new Fred H. Becker Elementary School in Waterloo. The school is named after the World War I hero who graduated from East Waterloo High School in 1915 and in 1916 became the very first All-American football player in the history of the University of Iowa. Mike “discovered” the Becker story and used a photo of him on the cover of Iowa History Journal, then wrote a book that featured Becker. The book, entitled Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Iowa Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright, will be available for purchase at the event in Waterloo, with Mike signing copies of the book for anyone who wishes to buy one. The event starts at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

February 3– Mike will make a return visit to the Burlington Library to speak about famous Iowans. The event starts at 10:30 a.m. and is open to the public. Mike spoke there last year and was invited back by the program chairman. Cancelled

February 26 – Mike will be the guest speaker for the father and son banquet at the Windsor Heights Lutheran Church in Des Moines. The event starts at 6 p.m.

March 2 – Mike will be the guest speaker at Adel High School for a “Character Counts” event, talking about Nile Kinnick and Fred Becker. A native of Adel, Nile Kinnick won the Heisman Trophy while playing football at Iowa and perished during a training flight during World War II. Mike will have copies of his book Triumph and Tragedy at the event.

March 15-17 – Mike and Bev will be at the WIN Memorabilia Show for the 22nd straight year, They created the show over two decades ago and it has become a tradition for fans between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Nearly 8,000 fans visited the show during its three day run in Philadelphia last year and this year’s event will be in St. Louis. The guests this year include nearly a dozen World and Olympic wrestling champions. The event is free and open to the public.

April 12 – Mike will be the guest speaker at the Toledo Library, talking about famous Iowans and signing copies of his books. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

May 18 – The Winnie Hawks is a large group of Winnebago owners who hold annual meetings around the country. This year’s meeting will be in Oskaloosa, starting at 6 p.m., and Mike will be the guest speaker, talking about famous Iowans.

Any group interested in having Mike be a speaker can contact him at 641-791-3072, or check the contact page.

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Author to Sign Book on Drake Legend Johnny Bright Before Home Football Game

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 | Books, Iowa History Journal | No Comments

DES MOINES, IOWA — The legend of Johnny Bright, Drake’s greatest athletic hero, springs back to life this month as Johnny graces the cover of two new publications – a magazine and a book.

A beautiful artwork of Bright is on the cover of Iowa History Journal, a magazine that covers all aspects of Iowa history, from sports to entertainment, to business and politics, and various historical figures and events.

The Bulldog star led the entire nation in total offense in both 1949 and 1950, and was leading it again in 1951 when he was knocked out of action in one of the ugliest incidents in college football history. Bright was a first team All-American and finished fifth in the balloting of the 1951 Heisman Trophy despite missing two of the Drake games due to the incident.

Bright is also one of four Iowa football stars featured in a new book, Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright.

There will be a book signing by Mike Chapman, author of Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stores of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright, prior to Drake’s homecoming football game against Marist this Saturday.

Read more details…

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Triumph & Tragedy Online Purchase Available

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 | Books | No Comments

UPDATE: Sold out currently. Used copies are available by calling the number below

Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright is available for purchase online through Paypal. The cost is $26.95 + $5 for shipping and handling.

You can also purchase by calling Culture House Books at 641-791-3072.

For details on the book view the previous post regarding it.

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New book features Iowa football legends

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 | Books | No Comments

Four iconic Iowa sports figures are featured in a new book entitled Triumph and Tragedy: The Inspiring Stories of Football Legends Fred Becker, Jack Trice, Nile Kinnick and Johnny Bright.

The book was written by Mike Chapman and is published by Culture House, an Iowa company that specializes in biographies. It features 57 photos, many of which have never been published before, and a foreword by Jim Zabel, legendary WHO radio sportscaster.

Triumph and Tragedy is a book that Chapman has been working on for several years. It tells the stories of four football heroes at the University of Iowa, Iowa State and Drake, each of who faced tragedy in life after excelling on the football field of competition.

Read on for more details on Becker, Trice, Kinnick, and Bright…

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Iowa History Journal Issue 5 Now Available

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

issue-number-5Issue number 5, October 2009, of the Iowa History Journal is now available.

Inside the issue:

  • Saga of the USS Iowa
  • Old Chapel Resurrected
  • Rocky Marciano’s Fatal Trip
  • Three Baseball Books
  • Recalling the Big Peach
  • Iowa History Quiz
  • Columns by Iowans

Visit to subscribe!

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Upcoming Speeches and Appearances

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Journey: Reflections on 50 Years of Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting, and Heroes – Order Today!

Order today by calling Culture House at 641-791-3072 or online through Paypal by clicking the button below

Super Book of Wrestling Trivia – Order today!

Order today by calling Culture House at 641-791-3072 or online through Paypal by clicking the button below

Oklahoma Shooter – Back by Popular Demand

Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story is $75 plus $5 for shipping and handling. All copies are signed by Dan Hodge and Mike Chapman. You can order by sending a check or money order for $100.00 to Culture House, P.O.. Box 293, Newton, IA 50208, or by calling 641-791-3072.

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