Dad the Destroyer, 1976

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 11, 2019

Ed Dixon ©Stars and Stripes
Tokyo, March, 1976: Most parents don't wear a mask to their kids' athletic events, but most parents aren't "The Destroyer," one of Japan's most popular professional wrestlers. Here, Richard John Beyer poses with his daughter Mona, left, and 10-year-old swimming standout Sean Lille during the Far East Swim Championships at St. Mary's International School, where Lille broke six records. Dick Beyer, who played football and wrestled at Syracuse University, became a teacher and coach in New York state after his wrestling career ended. He was awarded the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun (gold and silver rays) in 2017, two years before his death, for his contributions to U.S.-Japanese relations.

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