Stan “Krusher” Kowalski, Minnesota Wrestler Who Advocated For Veterans, Dead At 91
Stan "Krusher" Kowalski, born as Bert Smith, a pro-wrestler best known for his tag-team "Murder Incorporated" with Tiny Mills has passed away at age 91.
Stan “Krusher” Kowalski, a pro-wrestler best known for his tag-team “Murder Incorporated” with Tiny Mills has passed away at age 91. Murder Inc. became the first AWA tag team champions when the promotion was founded. He also managed Ivan Koloff and worked extensively in Canada against “Whipper” Billy Watson and others.
Later in his career, he moved onto the WWWF where he feuded with Bruno Sammartino as Krippler Karl Kovacs.
But Kowalski’s legacy moves far beyond wrestling. After his career in the ring ended, Kowalski went to the mat for his fellow veterans and those in need.
A Legacy Outside of Wrestling
Besides being a dominating wrestler, Kowalski was known for his charitable acts and advocacy for veterans causes throughout his life.
“There are 740 homeless veterans in Minneapolis and 7,000 around the state, and I want to know why nobody’s taking care of them,” Kowalski said.
“If it was your family, you’d do something. You don’t just leave ’em. Somebody’s gotta take care of them.”
Kowalski is determined to be that somebody. Last year, he recruited 61 new members to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Last month, Kowalski, who lives in Blaine, organized and promoted a 9/11 memorial at Spring Lake Park High School.
He was a man dedicated to his country.
But he didn’t hesitate to travel wherever he was needed, whether it was to the South Pacific during the war, to Washington D.C. on his own money to advocate for the POW/MIA campaign, or around Minnesota for his roles with the United Way and leader of the state VFW.
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Rare to see a wrestler who was such a well-known person in two separate areas.
Share your memories of Kowalski in the comment section below.