“Whatcha going to do when Hulkamania runs wild on you brother?” Rising to fame in the 1980s and 1990s in the World Wrestling Federation as “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Terry Gene Bollea was actually born in Georgia and raised in Florida where he was a star baseball player scouted by the New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds. With his baseball career ended by an injury, he turned his attention to wrestling and headed to the local gym where he first started lifting weights as a teen. By the mid 1970s, the 6’8” tall Hogan had a personal trainer and eventually made his way to the ring as “The Super Destroyer, Terry “The Hulk” Boulder and Sterling Golden before the legendary “Hollywood” Hulk was born.
A headliner in the industry from 1977 until 2013, Hogan became “the most recognized wrestling star worldwide” and amassed an impressive $30 million net worth thanks to his personal brand as a wrestler, actor, television personality, entrepreneur and even musician. As a result, the self-proclaimed Mr. America landed in headline after headline especially when he began changing houses as often as he changed spouses.
Tying the knot with Linda Claridge in 1983, Hogan lost his prized $22.5 million Bellaire estate when his wife filed for divorce in 2007 after learning of his affair. The court gave Claridge the estate with Hogan keeping around $10 million in assets, which left the star wrestler suicidal and desperately looking for a place to rest his head. That’s when he purchased a smaller and more subdued $6.2 million estate in Clearwater, Florida with the hopes of making a fresh start with his girlfriend Jennifer McDaniel. Eventually tying the knot with McDaniel in 2010, the couple lived in the home until 2012 when Hogan downsized once again and purchased a modest $3.3 million residence in the same neighborhood.
Despite his extravagance in the ring, Hogan has never been one to openly flaunt his wealth, which is partly why he fell in love with the 5,000 square foot Florida home just a few miles north of Clearwater Beach. Obviously turning heads for the considerable downsize from his former 17,000 square foot home in Bellaire that boasted five bedrooms and eight bathrooms as well as a tanning salon, gym and spa, Hogan’s newest Florida property is undoubtedly worth every penny thanks to its gorgeous oceanfront views.
Built in 2009 on a secluded beachfront facing the Gulf of Mexico, the home is located at 1040 Eldorado Avenue and has five bedrooms and six baths in addition to an elevator, pool and not one, but two spas! Hogan makes frequent use of his home gym and tanning salon to maintain his iconic tanned muscular physique while his wife enjoys filling the incredible 900-bottle wine cellar and lounging in the master retreat that features a sitting area, terrace, bar, luxury bathroom and custom closets. But, we can’t help but wonder if Hogan’s beachfront mansion has a music room as well.
Despite being widely known for his wrestling career, we can’t forget that Hogan first got his start in the music industry where he was known throughout the Tampa Bay area for his outstanding talent on the fretless bass guitar. For over a decade while studying at Hillsborough Community College and the University of South Florida, Hogan played alongside his friends in the band Ruckus and honed his talents for entertaining the crowd and showing off his skills. And, as the gigs started rolling in, Hogan dropped out of college to pursue his music career shortly before jumping into the ring.
Between gigs, Hogan spent the majority of his free time at Hector’s Gym in Tampa Bay where he worked out with other bodybuilders to maintain his physique especially for all of his adoring fans. As luck would have it, professional wrestlers Jack and Gerald Brisco were in the audience during one of Hogan’s concerts and instantly knew he would be perfect on the wrestling circuit. The brothers made a phone call to their manager, Hiro Matsuda, and within a matter of minutes, Hogan had a trainer. He then moved to Kansas City and was later accepted into the World Wrestling Federation in 1980 where he earned the WWF Champion title in his first match against Andre the Giant.
Unfortunately, Hogan’s career was cut short in 1992 when the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission alleged that he and several other wrestlers were taking steroids from Dr. George Zahorian. When news broke, there was a huge public outcry as the scandal turned ugly and left Hogan desperately attempting to clear his name in the media on programs like The Arsenio Hall Show. Unable to put the rumors to rest, Hogan left wrestling and has made only a few brief returns that continue to prove his reputation is far from what it once was.
By April 2005, Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by longtime friend Sylvester Stallone but not even that honor could eliminate other impending scandals. In April 2012, Gawker released a sex tape of Hogan and Heather Clem that ignited a $100 million lawsuit by Hogan for emotional pain and distress. In July 2015, the WWE Federation terminated his contract due to racial prejudice as Hogan’s bank account slowly dwindled leaving many to better understand why the former star wrestler continued to downsize at home.
Eventually awarded $115 million when the Gawker suit was settled in early 2016, the 63-year-old Hogan is slowly recovering after decades of scandals that have left him no other choice but to lick his wounds from the safety and privacy of his Florida estate. Besides, he isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last millionaire celebrity who heads to sunny Florida where he can work on his tan amid warmer weather, brilliant blue waters and white sandy beaches.