Paul Lincoln

Paul Lincoln (born James McDonald Lincoln; 3 May 1932 – 11 January 2011), better known by the ring name Dr. Death, was an Australian professional wrestler and promoter.[1][3][5]

Paul Lincoln
Birth nameJames McDonald Lincoln[1]
Born3 May 1932
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[2]
Died11 January 2011(2011-01-11) (aged 78)[1]
Southampton, England, United Kingdom[3]
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Lincoln[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Dr. Death[1]
Elmo Lincoln[1]
James Lincoln[1]
Major Lincoln[4]
Paul Lincoln[1]
Billed height5 ft 8 in (173 cm)[1]
Billed from"Hollywood, United States"[1]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

After leaving high school, Lincoln began wrestling in showground bouts staged by Roy Bell.[1] He went on to wrestle under the ring name "Elmo Lincoln".[4] During his late teens, he wrestled in Singapore.[1]

In 1951, at the age of 19, Lincoln emigrated to the United Kingdom.[6] He initially wrestled as "James Lincoln" and "Paul Lincoln" before George Kidd advised him to wear a mask and adopt the ring name "Dr. Death".[1]

As Dr. Death, Lincoln "brought fear to wrestling rings across the South throughout the '50s and '60s." He was known to wrestle on cards as Paul Lincoln and then again as Dr. Death.[2] During the 1960s, he had a heated feud with the heroic White Angel; during one bout in The Metropolitan Theatre, an audience member shot him with an air gun.[7] The feud culminated in a mask versus mask match that was won by Lincoln.[8][9]

Within a year of arriving in the UK, Lincoln began promoting.[2] His promotion, Paul Lincoln Managements,[10] competed against then-market leader Joint Promotions by using contacts at Granada Theatres to market his events and by bringing in international stars such as Ski Hi Lee[1] and "The Wild Man of Borneo".[11] In the 1960s, Lincoln was reportedly bought out by Joint Promotions for £1 million.[3]

In the 1970s, Lincoln was unmasked in a bout with Peter Maivia.[1] He went on to wrestle in Valencia, Spain before returning to Australia in 1975, where he wrestled in Melbourne as "Major Lincoln".[4] He returned to the UK in 1986, settling in Southampton.[2]

Professional wrestling personaEdit

For most of his career, Lincoln wrestled as the villainous "Dr. Death", who wore a black leather mask and black boots (and approached the ring wearing a black robe)[2] and was billed from Hollywood.[1] Lincoln was "burly" but relatively short for a professional wrestler.[12] His finishing move was a clawhold.[3]

Towards the end of his career, Lincoln also wrestled as "Major Lincoln", a heelish officer of the British Army.[1][4]

Music promoterEdit

In April 1956, Lincoln and his business partner Ray Hunter purchased the lease on the 2i's, a steakhouse in Soho, London, and turned it into a coffeehouse. Lincoln planned to use the rooms above the restaurant as temporary accommodation for foreign wrestlers.[6][13] In July 1956, The Vipers Skiffle Group took shelter from the rain in the 2i's, whereupon Lincoln suggested they keep playing in the coffeehouse's basement. The success of their impromptu performance made Lincoln reconsider his plans; he made the 2i's a live music venue, and gave The Vipers a residency.[13] The 2i's went on to become hugely successful after Lincoln began staging music evenings aimed at teenagers featuring rock and roll and skiffle acts.[1]

The 2i's became known as "a recruiting centre for the first generation of London rockers"[14] and "a haven for managers and agents on the hunt for fresh talent".[15] Musicians such as Cliff Richard, Adam Faith, Ritchie Blackmore, Lionel Bart, and Tommy Steele went on to launch their careers in the 2i's.[3][5][16][17][18] Lincoln recruited the bouncer of the 2i's, Peter Grant, as a wrestler.[19][20] In addition to running the 2i's, Lincoln also managed the musicians Terry Dene, Wee Willie Harris,[1][21] and Kris Kristofferson,[22] as well as the band Les Hobeaux.[23]

In 1957, Lincoln conceived the idea of staging skiffle concerts on voyage between Southend, England and Boulogne, France. He chartered the paddle steamer MV Royal Daffodil and sold tickets for what was dubbed the "Rock Across the Channel". The concerts ran until 1963, with acts such as James Brown, Ray Charles, Chas Hodges, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Shadows, and Gene Vincent amongst those performing.[24][25]

Personal lifeEdit

Lincoln was married to Elizabeth, with whom he had a daughter, Natalie.[1]


Lincoln died on 11 January 2011 at the age of 78. He had been afflicted with cancer and Parkinson's disease.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u James Morton (3 March 2011). "Paul Lincoln obituary". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Martyn Hannah (14 January 2011). "Southampton wrestler Paul Lincoln aka Dr. Death dies aged 78". Southern Daily Echo. Gannett. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Ex-wrestler and promoter 'Dr Death' Paul Lincoln dies". BBC News. BBC. 14 January 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d James Morton; Susanna Lobez (2011). Kings Of Stings. Victory Books. pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-0-522-86019-1.
  5. ^ a b "Dr Death...Paul Lincoln". Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  6. ^ a b Pete Frame (2011). The Restless Generation: How Rock Music Changed the Face of 1950s Britain. Omnibus Press. pp. 260–261. ISBN 978-0-85712-713-6.
  7. ^ Simon Garfield (2013). The Wrestling. Faber and Faber. pp. 119–120. ISBN 978-0-571-26545-9.
  8. ^ Marcus Berkmann (2016). The Spectator Book of Wit, Humour and Mischief. Little, Brown Book Group. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-4087-0744-9.
  9. ^ David Roberts (2012). The Bromley Boys: The True Story of Supporting the Worst Football Club in Britain. Pavilion Books. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-909396-07-4.
  10. ^ Municipal Journal, Public Works Engineer Contractor's Guide. 71. 1963.
  11. ^ Orig Williams; Martyn Williams (2013). El Bandito - The Autobiography of Orig Williams. Y Lolfa. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-84771-778-8.
  12. ^ Paul Willetts (2013). The Look of Love: The Life and Times of Paul Raymond, Soho's King of Clubs. Profile Books. p. 66. ISBN 1-84765-994-2.
  13. ^ a b Barry Miles (2010). London Calling: A Countercultural History of London since 1945. Atlantic Books. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-84887-554-8.
  14. ^ Nick Rennison (2017). Bohemian London. Oldcastle Books. pp. 126–127. ISBN 978-1-84344-819-8.
  15. ^ Andrew Loog Oldham (2010). Stoned. Random House. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-4464-1209-1.
  16. ^ Tony Palmer (1977). All you need is love: the story of popular music. Penguin Books. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-14-004521-5.
  17. ^ James Morton (2018). The Hidden Lives of London Streets: A Walking Guide to Soho, Holborn and Beyond. Little, Brown Book Group. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-4721-3925-2.
  18. ^ Mick Wall (2010). When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography Of Led Zeppelin. Orion Publishing Group. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-4091-1121-4.
  19. ^ Chris Welch (2009). Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin. Omnibus Press. pp. 17–19. ISBN 978-0-85712-100-4.
  20. ^ Martin Power (2016). No Quarter: The Three Lives of Jimmy Page. Omnibus Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-78323-536-0.
  21. ^ Mark Blake (2018). Bring It On Home: Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin and Beyond: The Story of Rock's Greatest Manager. Little, Brown Book Group. pp. 25–27. ISBN 978-1-4721-2687-0.
  22. ^ Stephen Miller (2009). Kristofferson: The Wild American. Omnibus Press. pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-0-85712-109-7.
  23. ^ Owen Adams. "The 2 i's and the birth of British rock". Record Collector. Metropolis International. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  24. ^ "'Rock Ferry'". BBC Online. BBC. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  25. ^ Billy Bragg (2017). Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World. Faber and Faber. pp. 222–223. ISBN 978-0-571-32776-8.

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