Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

'An icon amongst icons': Wrestling legend Bruno Sammartino dead at 82

TWITTER TWITTER
| 19 April, 2018, 06:25

We are sad to report that WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino has passed away at the age of 82.

The charismatic Sammartino, an Italian immigrant who settled in Pittsburgh, certainly drew well in Italian-American communities on the east coast. That 2,803-day reign (which factors out to seven years, eight months, and one day) is recognized by the WWE as the longest reign of their heavyweight championship, ever.

TMZ reports that the legendary wrestler, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013, passed away at his home in Pittsburgh, Penn.

- Nattie (@NatbyNature) April 18, 2018This photo is from the first mention of Bruno Sammartino I can find in our archives, from a 1958 story in the Pittsburgh Press titled "Pittsburgh Hercules".

And on March 28, 2015, ahead of WrestleMania 31, Sammartino inducted Larry Zbyszko into the WWE Hall of Fame.

During his first reign, Sammartino headlined the first wrestling card at the then-new MSG. According to the WWE, he retired from the ring in 1981 and a few years later he returned as a broadcaster until 1988.


"Bruno is indirectly responsible for where I am today".

Sammartino did not like the direction the WWE took during the so-called Attitude Era, starting in the late '90s, with its tawdry sexual overtones and foul language; it was one of the major reasons for the long estrangement between him and the company.

BC-WRE-Obit-Sammartino, 1st Ld-Writethru, 889Professional wrestling great Bruno Sammartino dies at 82AP Photo PAGRE201, PAGRE202, NY158, NY159Eds: Updates.

"Devastated to hear the passing of a true icon, legend, great, honest and wonderful man", professional wrestler Triple H also tweeted.

Sammartino is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carol, three sons, David, Danny and Darryl, and four grandchildren. RIP Bruno. My thoughts and prayers are with his family today. He was the most vibrant and spirited person I met that week, and he shared with me invaluable wisdom about the business and life as a whole.

WWE confirmed Sammartino's passing this morning on Twitter.

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