On Monday, the famous strongman of Coney Island died in a minivan hit in Brooklyn at the age of 104. This boxer was known as “Kid Dundee” in his boxing days.
According to his 53-year-old friend Eileen Bille who named him “Puggy”, Rollino was a relic in the neighborhood. This woman said that all people knew him. Talking about the death of the unlucky strongman, owner Victor Oh said that Rollino was bright and friendly that morning.
The accident happened when Joe Rollino was crossing north to south on bay Ridge Parkway after buying newspapers as he often did every day. Report said that when police reached 13th Ave, they found Rollino comatose and unresponsive. Police then immediately took him to Lutheran Medical Center; however, doctors at the hospital could not save his life. Police said the driver was going at the speed limit and had not been drinking. No criminality is suspected, but the driver was issued a summons for a defective horn.
Rollino was born in South Brooklyn on March 19 in 1905. According to his friends, he was the model of death. At his prime time, Joe was just 5-feet-4 and 122 pounds. Being able to take punches, Rollino was known by many people on the local boxing circuit in the 1920s. He led a healthy life with the habit of eating oatmeal every morning and swimming in the ocean year-round.
Rollino started his career as a strongman in the 1920s after joining in the World War II as a decorared veteran. He was the former Coney strongman who billed himself as “The Strongest Man in the World”. He had once lifted 450 pounds with his teeth.
In his career, Rollino achieved Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts although he was wounded by shrapnel in his legs during the World War II.
Rumors said that before enrolling in the army, Joe had got married and had a kid. However, he lived most of his life alone. Nice Bille, who shared home with the unlucky strongman at the time of his death, expressed her mournfulness when talking about her uncle. The mother of five children shared that Joe Rollino was like a grandfather to her kids.
In his talks about his working days as a longshoreman, Rollino often amused and brought laughs to his friends. The strongman also had a part in the 1954 Marlon Brando movie named “On the Waterfront”. In his career of strength athletic, Joe affirmed that he never used steroids to maintain his remarkable physique. He was also a devotee of the “Iron Game“.