A brief history of the “Gato Ruivo”.
George Gracie was born in 1911 being the second youngest of the famous Gracie brothers. George came from a wealthy and respected family in his native town of Belem do Pará, but as the Gracies fell into a financial crisis with his father, Gastao Senior, losing the his business, the family moved to Rio de Janeiro to start a new life and George’s life of luxury ended.
The Gracie’s were so poor at this point that they had to push the few influences they still had amongst the wealthy Brazilian families to survive. One of the measurements they took was to enrol Helio and George in a rowing club so they could be taken care by the nautical association.
Carlos took George out of the club to have him instructed in the art of Jiu Jitsu, the reason being, Carlos was opening his own Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy (the very first ever) and wanted his brothers help in this new project of his. The first brothers taken to the Gracie Academy were George, Gastao and Oswaldo, Helio only joined them at a later stage. George and Oswaldo (who was 7 years older then George) soon became assistant coaches, but George proved to be a sponge when absorbing the grappling knowledge Carlos was handing. George’s golden period started around this same time. He drew against a Japanese Jiu Jitsu fighter named Geo Omori but a succession of wins after the draw made his reputation reach an all time high.
In 1938 Helio retired from competition (at the age of 25), as Carlos and Oswaldo had done before him, leaving George as the only true Gracie representative in the country. George fought for many years until he met the love of his life and moved to Sao Paulo to live the life of a business man.