Born Robert Windham in Sweetwater, Texas, Blackjack Mulligan came into this world weighing 14 pounds and wearing a black glove. Although the glove part is not true, Windham did come from a hard upbringing as his mother was only 16 years old when she had him and his father sadly died when he was two.
As a boy Mulligan helped his grandfather raise pigs. When he got older, Mulligan took on other jobs like ranching and working on the oil pipelines. In the 9th grade, Mulligan shot up to 6’4″ and weighed roughly 230 pounds. The football coaches took notice of him and were excited over the prospects of him playing for team.
Football became a huge part of Mulligan’s life as he became a top star for his high school football team n Odessa, Texas. Unfortunately, Mulligan had a knack for getting into fights and other mischief when not playing football. Eventually, his off the field problems caught up to him and the football coaches could no longer deflect the issues. So, at the encouragement of one of his coaches, Mulligan joined the Marines.
In the Marines, Mulligan was shaped and molded into a proud soldier who served his country. The wild attitude, from back in high school, was replaced with a respectful man. Mulligan got an early release to the reserves so that he could play college football at Texas Western University, where he became a star. He would go on to play in the NFL for the New York Jets. Unfortunately, his career was cut short as Mulligan suffered a serious leg injury and was cut by the Jets. He tried to make it on with other teams but eventually gave it all up for a career in pro-wrestling.