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Who is Linda McMahon?

  • VOA News

FILE - Linda McMahon talks with supporter David Becker and his baby daughter, Shelby, at a campaign stop in Fairfield, Conn., during her second bid for the U.S. Senate, Aug. 15, 2012.

Linda McMahon, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Small Business Administration, was born Linda Marie Edwards in New Bern, North Carolina. She met her future husband, Vince McMahon, when she was 13 and he was 16. They married on August 26, 1966, when she was 17. In 1966, she enrolled at East Carolina University, where she obtained a bachelor of arts degree in French and gained certification to teach.

In 1969, the McMahons moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Vince began working as an independent promoter with his father's company, Capitol Wrestling, in Washington, D.C. Linda worked as a receptionist at the corporate law firm, learning a great deal about intellectual property rights, which she found useful in her later career.

By 1979, Vince decided to start his own wrestling company. He purchased the Cape Cod Coliseum in Massachusetts and founded Titan Sports Inc. in 1980. As the company grew, Linda assisted Vince with administration and used her knowledge of intellectual property law to assist in trademark protection for the company.

In 1982, Vince McMahon purchased Capitol Wrestling, the holding company for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), from his father. This made Vince the owner of a large regional wrestling company, well-established in the Northeast. He later expanded his market by airing WWF shows on national television.

Linda McMahon became president of the company in 1993 and CEO in 1997, negotiating business deals, launching wrestling merchandise and signing wrestler contracts. She also started the company's civic programs — Get REAL, to deliver positive messages about education to young adults, and a nonpartisan voter registration campaign, Smackdown Your Vote.

She left what eventually was called World Wrestling Entertainment in 2009 to run unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. Senate from Connecticut in 2010. McMahon was the 2012 Republican nominee for Connecticut's other Senate seat, but lost again.

The McMahons have two children and six grandchildren.

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