Category Archives: Bruno Sammartino

Professional Wrestling Icon Bruno Sammartino is Dead at 82

World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE, has announced via Twitter that wrestler Bruno Sammartino has passed on at age 82.

Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, Bruno Sammartino was a fixture in the sport. For eight years running, Sammartino was a a world champion for the former World Wide Wrestling Federation (now WWE). His title began after a match on May 17, 1963 where he defeated Buddy Rogers. After a brief interlude where he lost to Ivan Koloff at a match on January 18, 1971, Sammartino eventually reclaimed the title in December 1973. He would hold onto the world champion status for an additional three years. Sammartino is one of only five wrestlers with the Federation with such long-standing records.

His status as a wrestling icon was cemented with an induction to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013, which recognized Sammartino’s accomplishments during his 30-year career. Arnold Schwarzenegger performed the honors.

Much like the (fictional) wrestling star Rocky Balboa, Sammartino was from Pennsylvania. He had immigrated to the Pittsburgh area from Italy. Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto mourned Sammartino’s passing and stated that he had been an excellent ambassador for the city.

Paul “Triple H” Levesque, an executive for WWE, also commented on Sammartino’s death. He took to Twitter, where he wrote that he was “devastated” to hear the news. Levesque called Sammartino “one of the toughest people I’ve ever met.”