Nathan’s History category

Interview with Anne Nelson, sister of Caitlin Nelson

Daily Mail has an article about Anne Nelson, whose father, Port Authority Police Officer James Nelson, died in the World Trace Center wreckage. Another shocking fatality would strike the family 16 years later.

Tragedy stalked Anne again in 2017 when her sister Caitlin (then a 20 year old college student) died in a freak accident when she choked in a charity pancake eating contest.

‘I think that loss is what really made me process my father’s death a little more. Even though I had gone to therapy before, the enormity of it all didn’t really hit me until that happened.’

Anne Nelson’s story is proof that people can live through not one but multiple traumas and still recover. Now 31, Anne tries to honor her sister and dad in everything she does.

She currently works as a special needs teacher at an elementary school, inspired by Caitlin’s studies in social work and her father’s life-long emphasis on education. ‘I take a little bit of both of them in what I’m doing and I try to carry them with me through that.’

Nathan’s Hot Dog qualifiers, restricted to NYC civil servants, were held on top of the original World Trade Center from 1998 to 2000. “Hungry” Charles Hardy won all 3 contests. Very little information about the competitions remains on the internet. Here is a screen capture from the 2002 documentary “Footlong”

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The New York Times has a long article about Nathan's Famous original Coney Island location.
Melody Andorfer, who ate 12 hot dogs in 5 minutes to win the Nathan's Famous eating contest held on Labor Day weekend in 1972, was honored at yesterday's weigh-in ceremony.
Guardian Angels founder has been declared the winner of the Republican primary for mayor of New York City. He competed in several Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contests in the 1990s, finishing 3rd in 1994.
The New York Daily News has a column about the career of 96 year old public relations maven Mortimer Matz, who co-founded the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest with Max Rosey in 1972.
The Staten Island Republican Party has endorsed Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa for Mayor of New York City. He competed in several Nathan's Famous finals in the 1990s, finishing 3rd in 1994 with a total of 20.5 hot dogs. In June, Sliwa received coverage after being injured while trying to defend a Manhattan Foot Locker from looters.
It has now been over a month since the hot dog eating contest Wall of Fame has been removed from Nathan's Famous original Coney Island location. Neither Nathan's nor Major League Eating have made any announcement about the restoration of the sign.

Nathan’s Wall of Fame completely removed

Dutchmazz posted a picture of Nathan’s Famous Coney Island location with the wall of fame completely removed. He claims that it is out for repair and will return.

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Nathan’s Famous Wall of Fame removed

Magical Theme Parks uploaded a video recorded today of the removal of the hot dog eating contest Wall of Fame at Nathan’s Famous Coney Island location. update Nov 23 The left side of the wall has been removed.

Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest Wall of Fame sign removal

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Flasback May 1997: Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore serves as a judge for a Nathan's qualifier held in Boca Raton, FL. She would receive national publicity three years later due to the "butterfly ballot" controversy following the 2000 Florida presidential election.
Spectrum Local News has an article about Melody Andorfer, winner of the 1972 Nathan's Famous Labor Day contest with a total of 12 hot dogs in 5 minutes. Major League Eating says they will acknowledge her at the 2021 finals.
ConeyIslandHistory.com has an article containing an audio interview with Melody Andorfer, winner of the 1972 Labor Day Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest. She is officially requesting a champions belt from Major League Eating.
The New York Daily News reports that Guardian Angels founder suffered injuries after defending a Manhattan Foot Locker from looters Tuesday. He competed in several Nathan's finals in the 1990s, finishing 3rd in 1994.
The New York Times has an article about Feltman's Hot Dogs which also covers the history of Coney Island frankfurters. The pandemic has reportedly resulted in a surge for hot dog purchases, with sales for Nathan's Famous increasing by over 50%.
Legendary comedian / director Carl Reiner requested pictures of the original Nathan's Famous location on his twitter feed.
Eater.com has a youtube video titled "How the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Became an ESPN Icon". The video contains a demonstration contest won by Badlands Booker in which George Shea catches Crazy Legs Conti cheating. (Eater.com blog entry)
TheAthletic.com has an article (mostly behind a paywall) about Birgit Felden's victory in the 1984 Nathan's finals, the only time a female has had the highest overall total in a July 4 contest. She is now a professor of business in Berlin.
A 1991 episode of the cable public access show Beyond Vaudville has an interview with Frank "Large" Dellarosa, the Nathan's champion of 1991 and 1992, (starts at 8:45). He says he broke a the overall contest record from 1959, which he calls the first year of the contest.
Ed Krachie, the 1995 & 1996 Nathan's hot dog eating champion, has a twitter at @edkrachie.
Today is the 50th anniversary of a ceremony held at Nathan's Coney Island location on June 30, 1967 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the invention of the hot dog. At that event, Walter Paul reportedly ate 127 hot dogs. (A picture of an unnamed model at the centennial)
Gersh Kuntzman, called "the original competitive-eating beat reporter" for his coverage of Nathan's hot dog contest around the turn of the century, wrote a column for the NY Daily News that he described as "a case for political assassinations ... when the victim works for Putin or Hitler".
DNAInfo reports that a federal grand jury will not bring charges against former Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes for using money from civil forfeiture to pay Mortimer Matz for public relations services after determining that Matz' work was non-political and the expenditure was legal. In the early 1970s, Mortimer Matz founded Nathan's hot dog eating contest with Max Rosey. In May, the that indictments were looming in the case.

Donald Trump & competitive eating chronology

A timeline listing the intersection of the worlds of competitive eating and the 2016 Republican presidential candidate follows:

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Brooklyn Eagle reports that the Corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island were named Nathan and Ida Handwerker Way on September 24 in honor of the founder of Nathan's Famous and his wife.

1916-71 Nathan’s eating contest “history” in “Eat This Book”

Pages 58-61 from “Eat This Book” about the “history” of Nathan’s Famous eating contest can be viewed below (click on pages to enlarge) or by using Google Books. The section treats the 1916 origin story as a historical fact instead of an “urban legend”.

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