Cora Livingston

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Born in the late 1880’s in Buffalo, NY, Cora (Tubbs) Livingston emerged from a challenging childhood to become a pioneer of women’s professional wrestling.

After her parents died when she was young, Cora was placed in a Catholic orphanage where she was raised by nuns. She competed in track and field events as a youngster, and then ran away when she was 16 to commence training as a pro wrestler.

She began her career March 19, 1906 at the Lafayette Theatre in Buffalo. In 1910 she defeated Laura Bennett, in a match in Kansas City, Mo, to become the very first recognized women’s world champion, a title she held until being defeated by Virginia Mercereau on Thanksgiving Day in 1923. Two years later she regained the crown by defeating Mercereau. She held the title until her retirement in 1935.

Along the way, she married wrestler and promoter Paul Browser in 1913 who helped further her training and manage her career. Upon officially retiring, she and her husband moved to Boston where they were successful promoters.

Cora passed away in Boston in 1957. In 2004, Cora’s prized Women’s World Title belt was sold at auction for $1,677.00.