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Manuel “Kahuku” Rodrigues was an island legend. He was called “the Maui Iron Man”, “the strongest man in West Maui”, “Lahaina’s Strong Man”, and “the Jim Thorpe of Hawaii.”
Born in 1898, Rodrigues excelled in wrestling, boxing, feats of strength, football, baseball, running and swimming. He was regularly recruited to take on touring wrestlers, boxers and strongmen. In addition to his athletic endeavors, he served as an actual policeman (not the wrestling term) for many years.
Rodrigues was a hero of the devastating 1930 Kalilhi flood when, at great personal risk, he single-handedly rescued 25 men, women and children. Around a dozen people died during the flood and many others were injured.
Among the feats attributed to him were besting a horse in a tug-of-war, and defeating a wrestling bear called John Brown. His son Abel “Kauhuku” Rodrigues became a well-known local wrestler. Other sons Henry “Hank” Oana and Manuel Rodrigues, Jr. were professional baseball players.
He passed away on October 27, 1947.
Unique content strictly for the Professional Wrestling Historical Society.
Biography of "Kahuku" Rodrigues.
Author: Mark Hewitt.
Published: November 5, 2019.
Editor: Jimmy Wheeler.