Legendary Pittsburgh wrestler Bruno Sammartino died on Wednesday. He was 82.
Sammartino grew up in Italy, but moved to Pittsburgh in 1950. He held the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Championship title for nearly eight straight years, which remains a record to this day.
When he first came here, before his wrestling days, Sammartino was a laborer who actually helped build the original Channel 11 studios.
Sammartino went on to perform many feats in the ring.
He held the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) title for 12 years, the longest anyone has held the title. He survived a broken neck and went back to the ring to fight again. He sold out Madison Square Garden 187 times.
Sammartino was more than a wrestler. He also miraculously survived World War II when his Italian village was overrun and his family escaped to the mountains.
After that, he came to Pittsburgh, which is where he got his start in professional wrestling.
He called it quits in the 1980s when he saw a growing problem with steroids, alienating him from the sport he helped make popular.
He stayed in Pittsburgh and eventually made peace with the WWE and was inducted into its Hall of Fame.
Wrestling fans around the world are remembering the legendary wrestler.
On May 17, 2013, Allegheny County recognized Sammartino and the County Council declared that day Bruno Sammartino Day.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald issued a statement on Sammartino's passing.
In August 2017, a statue was unveiled in his hometown of Pizzoferatto, Italy.
From the closest of friends to wrestling fans, Sammartino left a huge impact on so many lives.
Dominick DeNucci wrestled with him and they traveled the world together.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto also issued a statement on the passing of Sammartino:
"I know he's helped out a lot of people throughout the years," said John Defazio, Allegheny Council president. "I think he was a big asset to wrestling. He sold out Madison Square Garden more than anybody in the history of the Gardens."
WWE tolled the bell 10 times in Sammartino's memory at a live event in South Africa, which is a traditional tribute in the wrestling world.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced yet.
Pittsburgh sports teams also showed their appreciation on social media for Sammartino.
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