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Her parents owned a farm, a grocery store, and a service station.When her mother died of cancer aged forty, eight-year-old Ellison went to live with her paternal grandmother and worked on her cousin's cotton farm to make money.At age ten, Ellison was still deeply distraught over her mother’s death; to cheer her up, her father took her to the local wrestling matches.Ellison liked the matches, but it was not until she saw Women's Champion Mildred Burke wrestle that "they began to mean much more to me." Ellison returned to the Columbia home of her father and brothers.Mary Lillian Ellison (July 22, 1923 – November 2, 2007), better known by her ring name The Fabulous Moolah, was an American female professional wrestler.She began her career working with promoter Billy Wolfe and his wife, wrestler and trainer Mildred Burke, as well as working alongside professional wrestler "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers.Moolah claimed in her book, "First Goddess of the Squared Circle," that she formed friendships with Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.After June Byers retired in 1964, Moolah was subsequently recognized as official NWA Champion, thus making her the undisputed Women’s World Champion.
During the match, Moolah acted as the aggressor and pinned Byers to retain the championship.
Long later introduced Ellison to Jack Pfefer who gave her the moniker "Slave Girl Moolah".
By the early 1950s, Moolah was a valet for "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, accompanying him to the ring while providing eye candy for the male audiences and assisting Rogers against his opponents.
On September 18, 1956, Moolah defeated Judy Grable in a thirteen-woman battle royal to win the vacant World Women's Championship, which shares a lineage with the NWA World Women's Championship.
She was not immediately recognized by everyone as the NWA Champion because Billy Wolfe, with whom she had had conflict earlier in her career, still controlled the promotion. dubbed Ellison with a new ring name—The Fabulous Moolah.
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Nevertheless, Moolah dropped the belt on September 17, 1966 to Bette Boucher, although she regained the title just weeks later.