Stewart Edward "Stu" Hart, CM (May 3, 1915 – October 16, 2003) was a Canadian amateur wrestler, professional wrestler, promoter and trainer. Stu also founded Stampede Wrestling, a promotion based in Calgary, Alberta, and was the father of famous wrestlers Bret and Owen Hart. Along with Bret and Owen, Hart's trainees included future world champions Chris Jericho, Edge, Christian, Mark Henry, and Chris Benoit.
Hart played football for the Edmonton Eskimos in the 1938 and 1939 seasons. Stu Hart began amateur wrestling when he joined the YMCA in Edmonton in 1929. By 1937 he won a gold medal in the welterweight class from the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada. His amateur career peaked in May 1940 when Hart won the dominion Amateur Wrestling Championship in the light heavyweight category. It must have been a bittersweet win for Hart as by that time the Phoney War had ended in Europe, and World War II had erupted. This led to the cancellation of the Olympics ending one of Hart's greatest dreams. Hart did enlist in the Canadian Navy and served as the Director of Athletics.
Hart was trained in catch wrestling as a young boy by a bunch of older boys. They used to 'stretch' him every day, but Stu kept coming back. Stu once said "his head would be blue by the time they go of him". Stu taught this 'shoot style' to all who trained under him in the 80's & 90's with the thought that teaching his students real submission moves would make their pro wrestling style sharper.
It was during his service that Stu was introduced to professional wrestling. After recovering from a car accident, Stu competed in various exhibition matches to entertain the troops. In 1946, while receiving training from Toots Mondt, Hart debuted in New York and embarked on a long, eventful career, at one point wrestling a tiger and a grizzly bear.
In 1948, Hart established Stampede Wrestling, which was responsible for developing many second generation wrestling superstars. Three years later, he purchased a mansion in Patterson Heights, Calgary. The Hart House is now considered a historical site for the many famous figures that had passed through its doors. Its basement, known as the Dungeon, provided training grounds with an extensive legacy all its own.
A coach and mentor to countless young athletes, and a generous supporter of community life in Calgary, Hart, a loyal benefactor to more than thirty charitable and civic organizations including the Shriners' Hospital for Crippled Children and the Alberta Firefighters Toy Fund was appointed on November 15, 2000 to the Order of Canada. He was investitured on May 31, 2001.
Stu considered family to be his biggest achievement in life. For 53 years he was married to U.S. born Helen Hart ('nee Smith) (d. 2001) and together they raised twelve children in the Hart mansion. Many of his children went on to become wrestlers or were otherwise involved in wrestling. The couple have thirty-three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Hart was admitted to Rockyview General Hospital on October 3, 2003 for an elbow infection and then developed pneumonia. He also suffered from ailments associated with diabetes and arthritis. He had a stroke and died 13 days later at the age of 88.
In 2005 the City of Saskatoon announced that a street in the city's new Blairmore Suburban Centre development will be named Hart Road in Stu Hart's honor.
In 2008 Stu was inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was represented at the ceremony by his son Bret, who was inducted himself in 2006.
- Finishing and signature moves
- Elbow Smash
- Wrestlers trained