August 5, 1915
|Wrestles for||Billy Wolfe, NWA and WWWE|
|Assumed Competitive Female Wrestling Record|
|Assumed Competitive Mixed Wrestling Record|
Mildred Burke was one of the pioneers of modern women's wrestling. She began her career wrestling for promoter Billy Wolfe in circus and carnival side shows (wrestling all comers, and defeating over 200 men in the process), became the women's pro champion three times, and ended her career by operating Millie's Gym, an early source for training female wrestlers and producing 8mm female wrestling films.
While Mildred was a pro and not strictly a submission wrestler as the term is conceived today, she was the inspiration for many women in the sport and opened the doors to wrestling for numerous women, including Judell Dulong and Roselyn Royce, who went on to make their own niche by founding wrestling companies of their own. She was a true trailblazer for women's wrestling, submission or otherwise, and without her pioneering work, the field would not be what it is today. Mildred could very well be considered the grandmother or maybe godmother of modern female wrestling.
The details are sketchy at best on those early carnival matches - the format varied from place to place, & night to night - but in general, anyone in the audience, male or female, was challenged to step into the ring & take Mildred on, with a prize being offered if you managed to last for a specified amount of time, & a bonus offered should she be defeated. By all accounts, Mildered's record in these matches was over 200 wins, & 3 defeats.
After her pro career ended around 1957, Mildred opened a gym & training center in California for female wrestlers, & produced/sold 8mm home movies to help keep it going. As previously mentioned, future submission wrestlers Judell Dulong & Roselyn Royce were among her pupils.