Vincent Kennedy McMahon, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the WWE, was born on August 24, 1945 in Pinehurst, NC. His father, Vincent, was the co-founder of the company that is now known as World Wrestling Entertainment. Vince never met his dad until he was 12 years old. Vince grew up in severe poverty. The trailer he lived in had no water. Even worse, Vince's step-father was a violent man that physically abused Vince.
Vince was 16 years old when he met Linda Edwards, the future Mrs. McMahon. The two graduated from East Carolina University in 1969. For the next few years, Vince was a traveling salesman that sold adding machines and ice-cream accessories before joining the family business. In 1973, Vince promoted his first wrestling show in Bangor, ME. At around this time, Vince became a business associate of Bob Arums and helped him promote Evel Knievel's Snake Mountain Jump and the 1976 Muhammad Ali vs Antonio Inoki fight.
Cape Cod Coliseum:
By 1979, Vince had two children but was massively in debt. He worked out a deal to own the Cape Cod Coliseum and operated it with Linda. By studying the traveling acts of the day, he learned about the intricacies of putting on a rock show or sporting event. The lessons he learned from all of the acts that appeared at the arena would be an instrumental asset for the next phase of his career.
Vince Buys the WWF:
In 1982, Vince bought the WWF from his father and his partners. There were many strings attached to the deal and if Vince couldn't make the necessary payments, he would have lost the company back to his father and partners (Phil Zacko, Arnold Skaaland, and Gino "Gorilla Monsoon" Marella).
The WWF vs. Everyone Else:
Prior to Vince's purchase of the company, the WWF was a regional company that staged their events in the Northeast. At the time, different wrestling promotions had their territory to work in and there was a gentleman's agreement between them to not promote events in another person's area. Vince didn't adhere to that policy and the rest is history.
For decades, Vince was an announcer for the WWE and while most fans knew he was the owner, it wasn't fully acknowledged until the one-two punch of "The Montreal Screwjob" and his feud with Steve Austin. By 1998, Mr. McMahon became the biggest villain in the WWE by constantly trying to make life miserable for Steve Austin. Vince finally stepped into the ring in 1999 and won the Royal Rumble. Through the years, Vince has stepped into the ring many times.
The Kiss My Ass Club:
Starting in 2002, Vince created a club where in order for wrestler's to keep their job they would have to kiss his butt. Over the years, many wrestlers would feud with Vince over suffering this indignity. His fascination with his butt has been so bizarre that there was even a cartoon show on wwe.com that was dedicated to the adventures of his rear end.
Controversies and Bad Business Decisions:
Ever since taking over the company, Vince has been a lightning rod for controversy. His morphing of 'rasslin to sports entertainment alienated many fans. The moral police have gotten on Vince's case about the content of his programming. In the '90s, his company faced problems due to a sex scandal and steroids. He had public failings with his boxing, bodybuilding, restaurant, and football leagues. The company's latest problems stem from the Chris Benoit tragedy and the early deaths of many of his former stars.
The Charitable Mr. McMahon:
After listing all of his controversies, it is only fair to mention that the WWE has given back to the community. Their Circle of Champions program has led to over 5,000 meet and greets for dying children. The company has tried to get fans to the voting booths by creating the SmackDown Your Vote Campaign. Every year, the company presents the Tribute to the Troops show which originates from either Afghanistan or Iraq.
Sources include: imdb.com, wwe.com, McMahon DVD, and Sex, Lies, & Headlocks by Shaun Assael