LIFESTYLE

Friday's Google Doodle honors Mexican Lucha Libre legend, 'El Santo'

Friday’s Google Doodle images honor what would have been the 99th birthday of Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta, the man who made Mexican Lucha Libra wrestling popular.

Huerta was “El Santo,” or The Saint, the legendary silver-masked luchador who wrestled for nearly five decades and is considered one of Mexico’s greatest athletic figures.

Born in Tulancingo in 1917, Huerta practiced jiu-jitsu as a child. He also played baseball and American football.

Huerta began wrestling in the 1930s and adopted the Santo persona in the early '40s. Legend has it that he was so committed to his sport that even at home he refused to remove his mask.

After becoming famous as El Santo, the movies soon came knocking. And according to his IMBD page, he was featured in over 60 films – always in his signature silver mask.

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During his career, El Santo became a folk hero and a symbol of justice, attaining super-hero-like status in movies, television shows, comic books and other pop culture artifacts. 

After becoming famous as El Santo, the movies soon came knocking. And according to his IMBD page, he was featured in over 60 films – always in his signature silver mask.

He only revealed his true identity a week before his death on Feb. 5, 1984, unmasking himself on on the popular TV show, "Contrapunto.”

Huerta’s funeral was one of the most attended in Mexican history and a statue was erected in his honor in Tulancingo. He was buried in his silver Santo mask. 

His youngest son, Jorge, aka “El Hijo del Santo,” or "The Son of the Saint," was also a professional Mexican wrestler and political activist.

“Santito” as his son is also called, was the only of Huerta’s 10 children with María de los Ángeles Rodríguez Montaño who chose to wrestle. He started his career as “El Korak” without his father’s permission, but after receiving his college degree from Universidad Iberoamericana in Communications, per his father’s request, he emerged as “El Hijo del Santo.”

Huerta's grandson also, Jorge's son also followed in the family footsteps and is a wrestler himself "El Santo Jr." He is currently fighting in Japan. 

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