EXPIRED: 01/19/10 – Ida Mae Martinez, 78, was a pro wrestler a yodeler and a nurse born to a prostitute mother and unknown father and although she thought she was of Spanish descent, she never really knew.
Her guardians were abusive so she left home in her early teens and dropped out of school. She eventually found herself attending and getting hooked on live wrestling matches. This was a good thing since she got married at age 17 to an abusive husband and needed to learn how to defend herself.
Martinez spent most of the 50’s as an American pro wrestler, debuting in Ohio and winning the Championship of Mexico in 1952. She retired from wrestling in 1960, got divorced, got remarried and had two kids. She revisited that world in the 2004 documentary, about the early years of female wrestling, called Lipstick & Dynamite.
But it wasn’t all fun and games with Martinez. She buckled down and received her GED in 1971, an Associate’s Degree in nursing in 1975, and a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing in 1980. Ten years later she received her Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Maryland. She was one of the first nurses in Baltimore to care for AIDS patients. She also published writings about her work with AIDS patients.
Not to be too serious, in 1999 she appeared on The Rosie O’Donnell Show as a yodeler, and 5 years later released a CD called “The Yodeling Lady Ms. Ida.”
RIP – Nurse, wrestler, yodeler, mom. Ms. Ida