Born in the village of Sennik, Bulgaria on December 27, 1892, Koloff immigrated to the United States at the age of 17.
Before being discovered and trained to be a professional wrestler by Zbyszko Cyganiewicz, Koloff was self-taught.
Koloff was the first wrestler who captured professional heavyweight wrestling’s ‘Diamond Belt’ twice. He was also three times Heavyweight Champion of Europe (1934, 1937, 1937).
In 1937, Koloff defeated the current Heavyweight Champion of Europe, American Al Pereira, only for Pereira to win the title back, and for Koloff to reclaim it, before losing it in turn to Joe Savoldi
Return to Bulgaria
On his return to Bulgaria he was welcomed by thousands as a national hero. Dan Koloff devoted himself to charity, arranging many wrestling matches in Sofia and donating all the profits. The first Bulgarian passenger airplanes were bought with Kolov’s financing.
Koloff died in his home village of Sennik on March 27, 1940 of tuberculosis. His coffin was carried by officers of the Ninth Artillery Corps from the town of Sevlievo also escorted by an honorary company of cavalry.
Nowadays, there is a major wrestling tournament in Bulgaria held annually in his honor. Kolov remains a national hero and is widely considered to be one of the best wrestlers of all time.