Aleksander Aberg Dies at 38

by Mark Long

Alex Aberg - historyofwrestling.comAleksander “Alex” Aberg, one of the top professional wrestlers in the world, died in Armavir, Armenia. Aberg was one of the great Estonian wrestlers of the day, along with Georg Lurich and George Hackenschmidt. A top contender for the World Heavyweight title after retirement of Frank Gotch, Aberg was on the outside looking in when Gotch named Joe Stecher his successor. With prospects of a match up with Stecher appearing dim, Aberg and Lurich returned to Europe to wrestle.

After wrestling in tournaments, the wrestlers returned to Estonia via Japan, China and Russia. After participating in a tournament in Tallinn, they were forced to flee as the Bolsheviks began to target them along with other celebrities who were deemed friendly with the Russian Imperial Army. They attempted to flee Russia via the Black Sea but because of a warm Winter, typhoid gripped the town of Armavir, where they had landed. The 43-year-old Lurich caught the disease and died on January 20th, 1920. Aberg also became sick but fought off the illness for a tim. Because of the Russian Civil War, medical supplies were difficult to obtain and Aberg caught pneumonia and passed away on February 15, 1920.