While taking his daily five-mile walk on Monday, 104 year old Joe Rollino was crossing Bay Ridge Parkway in Brooklyn when he was struck by a minivan. Sadly, he died a few hours later at a local hospital.
In the 1920s, Mr. Rollino was a strongman on Coney Island billed as “The World’s Strongest Man.” He got his start in boxing and bodybuilding at age 10. Mr. Rollino became a vegetarian in his teens and firmly believed in fueling the body with natural, health-promoting foods.
He once lifted 475 lbs. with his teeth, 635 lbs. with one finger, and 3200 lbs. with his back. Even more astounding is that he did all this standing at 5’4” and weighing less than 150 lbs.
Mr. Rollino was not only strong and muscular, he was agile. In the 1920s, he boxed as “Kid Dundee,” often against boxers 50 pounds heavier than he was. He was a World War II veteran, and he swam daily laps in the ocean year-round. He was a classic example of all-around fitness and good nutrition. Joe Rollino, like other fit nutritarians such as Herbert Shelton and Jack LaLanne occasionally corresponded with Dr. Fuhrman on the subject of nutrition. These men provide proof that aging doesn’t have to mean heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and physical fragility.
On his 103rd birthday, Joe Rollino put a quarter between his teeth and bent it with his fingers. He skipped the cake.
March 19, 2010 would have been his 105th birthday. Imagine how long he could have lived.