Books

Famed Canadian wrestler Rocky Johnson, father of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, has written memoir, out Oct. 2019

Soulman follows Rocky Johnson's journey from being a homeless 13-year-old in Amherst, N.S., to becoming a professional wrestler.
Soulman is a memoir by Rocky Johnson with Scott Teal. (ECW Press)

Retired professional wrestler Rocky Johnson, a WWE Hall of Famer and father of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, has written a memoir about his remarkable road to success.

Titled Soulman, the book will be available in October of 2019.

Co-written with Scott Teal, Soulman begins with 13-year-old Johnson, homeless in Amherst, N.S. He rose to fame as a professional wrestler, becoming the first black man to win the Southern, Georgia and Florida heavyweight titles.

"Few people know anything about the man named Wayde Douglas Bowles, but this book will tell you everything you need to know. Born August 24, 1944, he grew up in Amherst, Nova Scotia; but he disappeared from the face of the earth in the summer of 1965. At the same time, a man named Rocky Johnson appeared, seemingly out of nowhere," Johnson writes early in the book. 

"I was both of those men. In July 1965, I became a professional wrestler and changed my name to Rocky Johnson."

Johnson later trained his son, who went on to become a legend in sports entertainment and one of the most highly paid actors in the world. The Rock inducted his father into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008 and wrote a foreword for this book.

ECW Press executive editor Michael Holmes describes the book as "nothing short of inspiring."

"Rocky Johnson's story moved me from start to finish — a Nova Scotia trailblazer who overcame hardship and seemingly insurmountable odds to become one of the most impressive wrestlers of his time, not to mention one of the first and most celebrated black professional wrestling champions in territories all over North America," said Holmes in an email to CBC Books.

"We're so happy to help share it with the world."

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