Grappling With Tragedy: Bill Malone

Brian Damage

Grappling with Tragedy is a series of articles that deal with unfortunate, tragic incidents that have occurred throughout the history of professional wrestling. It is unlike the ‘Wrestling with Sin’ series that deals more with the seedier side of wrestling like arrests, murders and suicides. Grappling looks more at particular tragic incidents that have in some instances altered pro wrestling in some way.

Bill Malone

William Polglase was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1924. He played various sports in high school and college including football and hockey. When World War II broke out, Polglase joined the United States Navy as a Cadet and flew bomber planes. When the war ended, Polglase resumed his football career in college at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York.

When a career in pro football was not in the cards for Polglase, he turned his attention to broadcasting. He changed his name to Bill Malone and served as a local radio disc jockey. He worked in radio in places like New York, Kentucky and Washington D.C.. Malone would snag his biggest gig to date, when he became a color commentator on both radio and television for the Washington Redskins football team from 1953 until 1954.

That exposure led to more high profile TV jobs across the country as a host. With Malone’s broadcasting stock rising, he was hired by Vince McMahon Sr to become Capitol Wrestling Corporation’s ( The precursor to the WWWF/WWF/WWE) very first host/interviewer/play by play announcer in 1956. The wrestling show aired under the NWA banner and was called Heavyweight Wrestling From Washington…where the CWC was originally based.

Bill Malone would eventually be replaced by famed Washington D.C. sportswriter Morris Siegel. While that was the end of Malone’s involvement in professional wrestling, he did go on to become the host of the game show ‘Supermarket Sweep’ from 1965 until 1967. Bill Malone was race car driving aficionado….he admitted that he loved to drive his Jaguar up to speeds of 140 miles per hour.

On March 8th, 1973….Bill Malone was involved in a motor vehicle collision in Brooklyn. No word if he was speeding before the crash. William Malone Polglase was just 49 years old at the time of his death. He left behind a wife and three children.

8 thoughts on “Grappling With Tragedy: Bill Malone

  1. These are really boring – we don’t need stories of people from over 70 years ago, please try and keep these interesting


  2. Pingback: Grappling With Tragedy: Bailey Goss | Ring the Damn Bell

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