Jesse Ventura on Billy Graham's huge influence on his career

"I looked him up and down, I watched the whole thing, and it was right there I thought, ‘God, maybe this is what I ought to try to do.’"

by Sead Dedovic
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Jesse Ventura on Billy Graham's huge influence on his career

Jesse "The Body" Ventura talked about interesting topics in a conversation with AdFreeShows.com. Billy Graham was one of the topics. Ventura looked at him and wanted to be like him. Graham was his idol and the man responsible for Ventura becoming what he became.

“Without Superstar Billy Graham, there would not be Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura. There would not be Hulk Hogan. There would not be any of those people you yelled for because Superstar was the hero to all of us.

Bar none. Superstar Graham was the person who I had just gotten out of the Navy. I came home on leave. I didn’t have nothing to do one night and all my friends were busy so I said, ‘I’m gonna go watch wrestling.’ Now here I am, a former Navy SEAL, two tours of Southeast Asia, I have nothing to do home on leave, so I went down.

I remember walking up to the window to Minneapolis Auditorium. I said to the lady, ‘Give me the best ticket you got.’ She looked at me and said, ‘Are you alone?’ I said, ‘Yep.’ She said, ‘I got one in the front row’.

I said, ‘Really?’ So I bought the front row ticket. I’m down there sitting with all the nuts in the old days of wrestling in the front row in Minneapolis. That night, I was sitting in the front row, and Superstar Billy Graham was in the semi-final that night.

I don’t remember who he wrestled. He walked out to the ring and he actually looked at me. I caught his eyes sitting ringside. I looked him up and down, I watched the whole thing, and it was right there I thought, ‘God, maybe this is what I ought to try to do.’ Then I went to college and I met a bunch of weightlifters at college and found out they were all Graham fans.

We started going to the Auditorium, and as typical college kids, cheering for the bad guy, Superstar”. - he said, as quoted by pwmania.com

Billy Graham's advice

Ventura also recalled the moment he met Graham. He immediately received advice from him, which he obeyed.

“I took my dad with me once because we had an extra ticket, and my dad came home that night, and he grabbed me and said, ‘You better be careful down there.’ I said, ‘What do you mean dad?’ He said, ‘You get those fans so riled up, somebody’s going to come and glom you over the head’ because, you know, I’d be down there cheering for Graham and all that, and the thing was, we looked like twin brothers.

I ended up dying my hair blonde and Graham and I looked like twin brothers when we both had the bleached blonde hair. I got to meet him. I was training at The Seventh Street gym. I walked in one Saturday morning and the owner of the gym said, ‘Hey, your hero is in the back.’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Superstar.

He’s back there working out. ‘So I got the opportunity to go back and talk with him. I told him I was training. He gave me great advice. He said, ‘Don’t break in here in Minneapolis. Go out to a small place first. You got to learn the business”.

Billy Graham
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