Last updated by David Buckler on February 26, 2015
Jim “The Black Panther” Mitchell was a popular wrestler said to be from Louisville, KY, as well as several other locations.
Jim Mitchell began wrestling in the late 1930s. He was a regular in Southern California.
Jim Mitchell was the first African American in modern professional wrestling.
During the initial years of his career, Jim Mitchell wore a mask and kid gloves, and he was only allowed to wrestle Japanese and Hindu wrestlers. He did away with the mask in the 1940s.
In 1949, Jim Mitchell fought against Gorgeous George and was declared the loser. There were audience members who felt that Gorgeous George had delivered cheap shots and bad sportsmanship, and a riot erupted at the Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. A rematch was attempted in the early 1950s.
Jim Mitchell continue to wrestle until about 1955, he is listed among the greatest top ten Black Wrestlers.