Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Joe Rollino, 1905-2010

In one of those incidents that seems like irrefutable proof of the randomness of things, a man approaching his 105th birthday died yesterday in Brooklyn. Cause of death? He was hit by a minivan.

His name was Joe Rollino, and he was allegedly one of the world's strongest men:
“Pound for pound, in the feats that he practiced, he was one of the greatest performing strongmen we’ve ever had, if the lifts he’s credited with are accurate,” said Terry Todd, a co-director of the Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports at the University of Texas, who knew Mr. Rollino for more than four decades. “He certainly wasn’t one of the strongest all-time strongmen, because of his size. To ask a well-trained 130-pound man if he can lift what a well-trained 400-pound man can lift is asking an unreasonable question. But for his size, Joe was apparently one of the strongest men who ever lived.”

Mr. Rollino stayed away from meat. And cigarettes. And alcohol. He said he walked five miles every morning, rain or shine. At the height of his career, he weighed between 125 and 150 pounds and stood about 5-foot-5.


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