82-year-old Bruno Sammartino passed away following a long battle with illness. He had been in poor health and sick for the last two months of his life. Bruno was best known for his career as a professional wrestler!
Born on October 6, 1935 in Pizzoferrato in Italy, Bruno was the youngest of his seven siblings. Unfortunately, four of his older siblings died during his childhood. During World War II, his family hid from the German soldiers in a small mountain town.
In 1950, Bruno and his family immigrated to the United States where their father had already been living for years. When he first arrived, he was sickly and weak from his time in the mountains and he had no knowledge of how to speak english.
After becoming a target of the bullies at his school, he decided to devote his time to weight training. His weightlifting abilities almost led him to the 1956 U.S. Olympic team, but he lost his spot at the last minute to Paul anderson.
In 1959, Bruno set the world record in bench press when he lifted 565 pounds while not wearing any elbow or wrist straps. That same year, he also made his professional debut as a wrestler in Pittsburgh.
He became a beloved wrestler in no time, and quickly rose to fame. In 1968, he even was one of the first wrestlers to compete in the then-new, Madison Square Garden! He also held the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship for over 11 years, split over 2 different reigns.
In 2013, Bruno was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He had previously declined entrance into the Hall of Fame over fears in the direction that the company was headed, but as they began to move away from the drug lifestyle, he was more than happy to accept.
Bruno will be sorely missed by all who loved him, and his family will miss him dearly. Please pray for his loved ones as they face this horrific loss.
This is a horrible story, and we know that sometimes we need a reminder of the good in the world at a time like this, so be sure to check out the video below!