Ross Twp. Honors Long-Time Resident Bruno Sammartino With New Signs

The World Wrestling Champion died last April

Andrew Limberg
July 17, 2019 - 3:33 pm

Related: The Golffather Outing Will Benefit The Bruno And Carol Sammartino Foundation

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - A few months ago Ross Township approached the Darryl Sammartino and his family about placing signs around the community that would honor his later father, World Champion Wrestler and WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino.

Darryl tells KDKA Radio he is honored they wanted to honor his father and said “I think my dad would be really, really happy if he knew about.”

Sammartino who lived in Oakland when he came to Pittsburgh moved to Ross around 1960 and that he where he raised his family and spent the rest of his life.

There are going to be a total of four signs around the area. One is right near Ross Park Mall and another is right near the Sammartino residence on Goldsmith Road.

Darryl says there are also plans to name a community park after his father as well as an honorary name change of Goldsmith Road to Sammartino Way.

Sammartino died in April of 2018 after a long stretch of health issues at the age of 82.

Born in Pizzoferrato, Italy, Sammartino came to the United States after World War II.  He once told his close friend of 30 years, Larry Richert, about what it meant to him to be in America.

Though Sammartino is a hero to many, his was his mother, Emilia Sammartino, who was the reason he became a champion.

Emilia risked her life repeatedly to keep her family safe from the Nazis during World War II. She fled into the nearby mountains with her family and would travel an entire day to sneak back into their Nazi-occupied house to steal back their own food for her family, while Nazi soldiers slept. One time, she was caught but escaped by jumping off a truck, was shot in the shoulder but still made it back up the mountain to take care of her family.

As a young boy, Sammartino was malnourished and suffered bouts of rheumatic fever. After being told by medical staff he wouldn’t survive, Emilia refused to listen and nursed him back to health.

Bruno told Larry and John a few years ago, “She was determined . . . that I was going to live and by golly I did . . . she pulled me through.”

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