Ed Strangler Lewis by Rob Schamberger © 2012 Rob. All rights reserved.

Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis

Ed Strangler Lewis painting by Rob Schamberger

Acrylic on 24″ x 24″ wood

Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis was one of, if not THE, best professional wrestlers of all time. Beginning his wrestling career at the age of 14 in 1905, Lewis had a notable career of fights back during the time that they were legitimate and not scripted. The legend is that Strangler was involved in the first worked, or scripted, match against Joe Stecher for the World Title in 1928. This followed the pair having the longest match on record, going for a purported five and a half hours and ending in a draw. Lewis was known as a ‘hooker’, someone who could inflict serious pain on an opponent through various holds, guaranteeing him a win should his opponent not follow the script. Following his in-ring wrestling career, he became a teacher, manager and traveling companion of the illustrious Lou Thesz, passing along his knowledge to hone the skills of the greatest wrestler of all time.

About the piece: One of my friends pointed out to me that my style is heavily based on high contrast, likely going back to my roots in comic books and illustration and working with ink. I’ve carried that on to my painted work, and I like to still use a lot of black, but with this I wanted to play with contrast without using black. I then used some black house paint to ‘frame’ the piece by roughly putting the paint in the corners.


  1. Bob

    Glad to see the Strangler get recognition, especially for his contributions to Thesz.

  2. Impressive piece, very impressive. Although, on your bio, it’s been said that many of Muldoon and Gotch’s matches were fixed, and they preceded Lewis.

    • Rob

      Thanks Julie! I guess that’s why I’m known more as a portrait artist than as a biographer!

  3. Actually, could I have your permission to use the image? Or would I have to pay a licensing fee?

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