Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Joe Rollino Dies After Being Struck By Minivan

Joe Rollino, who once lifted 3,200 pounds, was still able to bend quarters with just a mere flick of his 104-year-old fingers and would have turned 105 on March 19 if he was not struck down by a minivan yesterday and killed.

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.bvblackspin.com/media/2010/01/rollino.jpgRollino, who was once quoted as saying to those who loved him that he was “just born strong,” was a poster child for longevity and optimal good health. He was a life-long vegetarian, never indulged in drinking or smoking and still maintained his credo of daily exercise for stamina. He was a boxer for most of his adult life and even belonged to the Oldetime Barbell and Strongmen club, where men of steel would rip book binders at the seam.

During his 104 years of life, Rollino seemed to have done it all. Magician extraordinaire Harry Houdini was considered to be a friend. Right before the “golden age of sports,” Rollino sat front and center, when Jack Dempsey went on to become the World Champion as he delivered his winning blows against boxing contender Jess Willard in 1919. American tenor and Hollywood movie star Mario Lanza was one of Rollino’s good buddies. The centenarian even had a small role in the legendary movie “On the Waterfront” starring Marlon Brando.

Rollino was adored and respected by so many. In 2008, well-wishers threw him a party, which turned out to be a true celebration of his life. Retired New York City police detective and former Golden Gloves boxer Arthur Perry met Rollino at his birthday party and didn’t believe he was 103 at the time. “It was astonishing, how he was smiled upon by nature,” Perry said. “If you would’ve said to me he was 80, I’d have said he looked younger.”

Unfortunately, as Joe Rollino crossed Bay Ridge Parkway in Brooklyn yesterday, he was struck down by a minivan that oddly enough, had been going the speed limit. The driver was not intoxicated. The once Strongest Man in the World suffered broken ribs, head trauma and a broken pelvis. He passed away a few hours later at a nearby hospital.

No criminal charges were brought against the driver but he was given a summons for a busted horn.

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