The UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee presents the lecture Mighty Son of Poland: Zbyszko, Polish Americans and Sports in the 20th Century by prof. Neal Pease about the famous Polish world champion wrestler, intellectual and a Hollywood star, Stanisław Cyganiewicz (1881-1967).
Sport has played a significant role in the history of the Polish diaspora in the United States, serving both as an element of ethnic pride, and as an indicator of the acculturation of Polish immigrants and their descendants into American life. Neal Pease will illustrate these points with a focus on the colorful life and career of the Polish-born wrestler Zbyszko, the most beloved athlete in Polish American annals. A man of a surprising range of talents and experiences, Zbyszko made a mark not only in the realm of sport, but in the fields of American law, letters, and cinema as well.
Neal Pease is professor emeritus of History at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he specialized in modern history of Poland and East-Central Europe. Prof. Pease has won awards for his research and publication in the fields of the role of Catholicism in recent Polish history, and sport in Polish American history. He currently serves as president of the Polish American Historical Association. He is also vice president of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, and is former editor in chief of its scholarly journal The Polish Review.
More: extensive bio of Cyganiewicz is here: Noted intellectual, multiple world wrestling champ and later Hollywood star – Stanislaw Cyganiewicz was no fool