Women’s History Month – 5 Legends of Roller Derby

In honor of Women’s History Month, here are 5 legends who paved the way for rollergirls everywhere.

Ivy King

Derby Name: Poison Ivy
• Ivy got her start playing in Chicago in 1935 as one of the first competitors of the transcontinental roller derby
• During her career she held women’s speed roller-skating records at the quarter-mile, half-mile, and mile.
• In 1940, King was elected the first Roller Derby queen in a fan poll.
• In 1953, she was elected to the Roller Derby Hall of Fame.
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Marjorie Claire Louise Theresa Brasuhn

Derby Name: Toughie Brasuhn
• She was one of the first stars of Roller Derby in the early years of the sport. With the help of television coverage, she was known and loved by derby fans all over the country.
• Toughie Brasuhn’s famous rivalry with Gerry Murray fueled the public’s interest in the sport and added to its growing popularity.
• She captained the Brooklyn Red Devils from 1949-1953.
• In 1950, she was voted one of the ten leading sportswomen by the Sportswriters of America.

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Gerry Murray

• Murry was one of the original members of the Roller Derby Hall of Fame
• she captained the New York Chiefs
• Her televised rivalry with Toughie Brasuhn launched her into the spotlight amongst derby fans.
• Remembered as a fierce competitor who always had the support of the crowd, Murray stood her own as a pioneer of the sport

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Darlene Anderson

• Darlene made history, in 1957, as the first black women to play Roller Derby
• She unanimously won the rookie of the year award at the age of 19 in 1958 while skating for the Brooklyn Red Devils
• Throughout her career she skated for teams across the country including the Hawaii All Stars, San Francisco Bay Bombers, New York Chiefs, and Los Angeles Braves

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ANN CALVELLO

Derby Name: Banana-Nose
• Ann was often regarded as the “Queen of the Penalty Box”
• She rose to prominence with the Philly Panthers but played with teams all across the country including the San Francisco Bay Bombers and the Jersey Jolters
• She got her start in the 1930s and continued to play in every decade up until her death in 2006
• She was known for her rough playing style. Throughout her career she racked up injuries including 12 broken noses, four broken elbows, a broken collarbone, a broken tailbone and numerous cracked ribs

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