Sections SEARCH Skip to content Skip to site index Sports Subscribe Log In Subscribe Log In Advertisement Supported by ByRobert D. McFadden April 18, 2018 Bruno Sammartino, an Italian immigrant who was heavyweight champion of the World Wide Wrestling Federation for a record 11 years in the 1960s and ′70s, long before the federation admitted that its matches were scripted and largely choreographed entertainment shows, has died at 82. His death was announced on the website of WWE, the organization also known as World Wrestling Entertainment, a successor of the World Wide Wrestling Federation. No other details were immediately provided. In an era when the sports world, except for some die-hard wrestling fans, knew that professional matches were staged dramatizations, with heroes and villains, story lines and beefcake actors shamming the violence, Sammartino was one of the most popular performers in the business. He wrestled in Australia, Spain, Mexico, Canada and Japan, and often drew gates of 20,000 at Madison Square Garden, where he had more than 200 matches. Unlike many heavies on the pro wrestling circuits, he was a soft-spoken, gentlemanly connoisseur of grand opera, especially Verdi. And for one who had bench-pressed 565 pounds as an amateur, he… Read full this story
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