Donn Lewin (April 1, 1926 – December 18, 2010) was an American professional wrestler, marine and tropical fish breeder.[1]

Donn Lewin
Donn Lewin.jpg
BornApril 1, 1926
Buffalo, New York, United States[1]
DiedDecember 18, 2010 (aged 84)[1]
FamilyMark Lewin (brother)[2]
Danny McShain (brother-in-law)[2]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Donn Lewin[1]
The Executioner[1]
Trained byJim Henry

Early lifeEdit

Lewin was born on April 1, 1926, and grew up in Buffalo, New York, where he attended Lafayette High School.

Military careerEdit

Lewin left school at age 15 to join the Marines and serve in World War II. He fought at Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, and Guam, and left the Marines after attaining the rank of Admiral's orderly. During his time in the service, he earned three Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in battle.[3] After leaving the Marines, Lewin became interested in bodybuilding, and he placed second in a Mr. Niagara Frontier Contest.[1]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

His placement in the bodybuilding contest brought him to the attention of Ed Don George, a promoter.[1] George introduced him to Jim Henry, who trained Lewin.[1] At the beginning of his wrestling career, Lewin competed in Buffalo, New York and across the border in Ontario, as well as Capitol Wrestling.[3] While competing for Capitol Wrestling in Maryland, he teamed with his real-life brother Mark Lewin to win the American Tag Team Championship.[4] Lewin also competed in California, Ohio, and Georgia.[3][5] In Georgia, he teamed with his brother Mark again to win the Georgia version of the NWA International Tag Team Championship.[6]

In 1969, a promoter asked Lewin to begin wearing a mask and competing as The Executioner. He used the identity while competing in several promotions. During that time period, Lewin also helped train Greg Valentine as a professional wrestler.[3]

In addition to wrestling, Lewin also worked as a fish breeder for several years. Eventually, he decided to retire from wrestling and focus on his second career, which had grown to include not only pet fish, but also piranhas and alligators.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Lewin's brothers Mark and Ted also became professional wrestlers.[3][5] He also has a sister named Sallee. Sallee began dating professional wrestler Danny McShain shortly after McShain broke Lewin's nose; the couple was later married and were together until McShain's death in 1992.[7] Due to wrestling, he required more than 30 operation throughout his life, including several hip replacements.[1]


Lewin died on December 18, 2010, at the age of 84 in Hawaii.[1]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Oliver, Greg (2010-12-20). "Marine, wrestler, ichthyologist Donn Lewin dead at 84". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Steven; et al. (1 October 2012). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: Heroes and Icons. ECW Press. p. 365. ISBN 978-1-77090-269-5.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Johnson, Steven (2004-09-28). "Nothing fishy about this Executioner". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  4. ^ a b "American Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  5. ^ a b "Wrestler Profiles: Donn Lewin". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  6. ^ a b "International Tag Team Title (Georgia)". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  7. ^ "The Forgotten Famous". Cauliflower Alley Club. Archived from the original on December 4, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-12.

External linksEdit