Though born in Belgium, he was given the name "God of Wrestling" in Japan thanks to his shaping of the Japanese professional wrestling style.
He was an excellent amateur wrestler, performing in matches at The Hippodroom in Antwerp and even competing in the Olympics at a young age for Belgium.
He was both a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award by Tokyo Sports and inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in the year 2007.
He lived with his wife and daughter in Florida where he passed away.
He was a major influence on wrestling just as Hulk Hogan was.