Leo Garibaldi was the son of the late, great Gino Garibaldi and grew up with 4 uncles, included Chick Garibaldi, that were also pro-wrestlers. All friends and relatives of the Garibaldi family were somehow involved in pro-wrestling. As a child, he traveled with his father and sat at ringside watching wrestling greats, like Jim Londos, Ray Steele, Paul Jones, Joe Savoldi, Yvon Robert and of course, Gino Garibaldi.

Leo graduated from the New York Military Academy in 1947 where he was captain of the school’s wrestling team. At the age of 18, Leo was thrown into the professional ring as a substitute for a wrestler that didn’t show up. “It was great watching all the old timers who were young men in the late 40’s, but even more fun to compete and make money.” Leo was billed as “The Teenage Idol from California.” He wrestled such greats as Gorgeous George, Red Berry, Freddie Blassie and Danny McShane. Leo was well on his way to fame and fortune when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. When he returned to The ring four years later, a lot of upcoming teen idols wanted his spot. It made some great matches and Leo captured the World’s Jr. Heavyweight Title from Billy Varga. Six months later, he lost the title to Baron Leone.

Leo suffered a broken shoulder in the Leone match and hung up his wrestling boots for good…doctor’s orders. President Sam Muchnick of the National Wrestling Alliance immediately snapped him up. Sam tabbed Leo as his top “Troubleshooter” and personal representative. So began a second mat career for Leo, this time as an enforcer of rules for the NWA, as a top referee in crucial championship contests, and as a man sent to the far corners of the earth whenever Mr. Muchnick encountered a sticky wicket. He eventually bought into the Australian Promotion and he and his wife June moved to Australia for a few years. Then they decided to return to the USA and bought a home in California. Leo came out of retirement to help the Olympic Auditorium Wrestling Promotion and has been semi-retired since. Leo is now involved with the Cauliflower Alley organization.

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