JOSIAH ‘JOE’ HENSON, Navy ‘44 never lettered in high school while coached by Art Griffith, a future HOF coach at Oklahoma State. At Navy, Joe was unbeaten in college and won EIWA titles in 1943 and 1944, with no NCAAs in 1943-45. Henson was a National AAU champion in 1952 and won Bronze in the 1952 Olympics at 139.
In 1956, Henson became the first American to qualify as a FILA International Referee and worked the Olympic Games. Joe became Chairman of U.S. Wrestling in 1964 and 1968; in 1968, he became the first American to work as an Olympics mat chairman. He produced the first English translation of the FILA International Wrestling Rules and was president of the AAU. Henson was named Man of the Year by Amateur Wrestling News, then in 1963, became the second American to receive the FILA Gold Star. Elected to the Helms and the AAU Wresting Halls of Fame, he received FILA’s Centennial Award. Henson founded and directed the Henson Company, a wrestling products company now known as Brute Wrestling.
Captain Henson had a distinguished Naval career, piloting more than 400 carrier landings from 1941-69. He’s a decorated war veteran honored with a Presidential Commendation. An Oklahoma resident, Henson is a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.