Johnny Bright

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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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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Johnny Bright: Drake’s Greatest Legend

Friday, September 3rd, 2010 | Columns, Iowa History Journal | No Comments

by Mike Chapman (excerpt from Iowa History Journal, Volume 2, Issue 5)

When Johnny Bright strolled onto the cozy Drake University campus in the fall of 1948, no one could have realized what was in store for the Des Moines college in particular, and the game of football in general. After his three-year varsity career wound up in 1951, Bright left a legacy of achievement that may never be matched at any college.

The dynamic, athletic young man from Indiana had it all, including a name that lent itself to visions of grandeur. And it is sad that today very few Iowa football fans even know who Johnny Bright was and what he once meant to Drake University and to the state as a whole.

Continue reading…


Iowa History Journal Volume 2, Issue 5 Now Available

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 | Iowa History Journal | No Comments

With football season kicking off all across the state of Iowa and the nation, now is the perfect time to revisit the story of one of the greatest football players in the history of our state. Johnny Bright played his first game at Drake University in the fall of 1949 – and over the next three years blazed a trail that is simply amazing.

Bright led the entire nation in total offense as a sophomore, as a junior, and was leading the nation as a senior when he suffered one of the most reprehensible occurrences in the history of college sports. Bright and the Bulldogs took a 6-0 record into Stillwater, Oklahoma, on October 20, 1951, to meet the Oklahoma A&M Aggies. What happened that day has been a dark spot ever since.

Bright was badly injured and missed two of the next three games but still finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year. He went on to a tremendous career in the Canadian Football League and eventually became a highly regarded educator in Edmonton, Canada.

This issue of Iowa History Journal offers the compelling story of Johnny Bright along with some fabulous pictures. You won’t want to miss it.

Read more to see what’s inside this issue…

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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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