Bruno Sammartino

Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Sammartino
United States
5 ft 10 in (178 cm
265 lb (120 kg)[
Date of Birth
October 6, 1935


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Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino was born on October 6, 1935, in Pizzoferrato, Abruzzo, Italy. Known as “The Italian Strongman,” Sammartino is one of the most iconic figures in the history of professional wrestling due to his remarkable strength and charismatic personality.

Career History and Evolution

Sammartino’s career began in the late 1950s after he emigrated to the United States post-World War II. He made his professional wrestling debut in 1959 and was quickly noticed by the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), now known as WWE.
Over the course of his career, Sammartino’s character evolved from a powerful newcomer to a beloved hero, representing the immigrant’s dream of achieving greatness in America. His impressive strength and resiliency earned him a massive fan base.
After retiring in 1981, he spent several years as a commentator for WWF’s broadcast shows and continued to make sporadic appearances in wrestling promotions until the early 1990s.

Titles Won and Biggest Matches

Bruno Sammartino is most famously known for his two WWWF World Heavyweight Championships. His first reign lasted an incredible 2,803 days (over seven years), the longest single reign in the championship’s history.
His most iconic matches include his 1963 title win over “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers in just 48 seconds, his 1972 match against Pedro Morales that lasted 75 minutes to a draw, and his cage match against Larry Zbyszko at Shea Stadium in 1980.

Biggest Rivalries and Tag Team Partners

Bruno Sammartino’s most memorable rivalries include his feuds with Larry Zbyszko, Killer Kowalski, and Superstar Billy Graham.
As for tag team partners, Sammartino mostly competed as a singles wrestler but had memorable pairings with wrestlers like Dominic DeNucci and his son, David Sammartino.

Family Life

Bruno Sammartino was married to his wife, Carol, from 1959 until his death in 2018. They had three children: David, who also became a professional wrestler, and fraternal twins Daniel and Darryl.

Finishing Move, Clothing, and Entrance Music

Bruno Sammartino was known for his finishing move, the “Bearhug,” which was a testament to his incredible strength.
Sammartino was usually seen in traditional wrestling attire consisting of black trunks and black boots.
During most of Sammartino’s active wrestling years, entrance themes were not a common practice. However, his entrance always generated a massive pop from the crowd due to his immense popularity.


Bruno Sammartino’s legacy in professional wrestling is incomparable. His incredible title reigns and natural charisma made him a huge draw, and he is considered one of the industry’s pioneers. Despite initial reluctance due to disputes with the company, Sammartino accepted induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013, cementing his status as a true legend of the wrestling world. His contributions to wrestling continue to be celebrated long after his death in 2018.