Bill Bangert: World's Strongest Mayor Dead at 87


Bangert on the cover of the RFT in 2001.
  • Bangert on the cover of the RFT in 2001.
Bill Bangert the former mayor of the tiny St. Louis municipality of Champ (pop. 14) died Tuesday at the age of 87.

Before falling ill to Parkinson's disease in recent years, Bangert had once considered himself to be "world's strongest mayor" -- physically. A former Golden gloves boxer, shot putter and professional football player, Bangert competed in sports most of his life and once carried a pair of 778-pound stones across a bridge in Scotland to prove his strength.

Bangert founded the city of Champ in west St. Louis County after moving there from the north county suburb of Berkeley. His family comprised most the town's population. Still, he had big dreams for the place. A 2001 cover story in the Riverfront Times chronicled Bangert's dream of building a 100,000-seat domed stadium in the town.

The Post-Dispatch this morning has a nice obit, too, detailing other achievements in Bangert's incredibly rich life. In addition to an athlete, he was also an accomplished baritone singer.