Bill Peduto, the mayor of Pittsburgh, issued the following statement today regarding the passing of WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino.

“Bruno Sammartino was one of the greatest ambassadors the city of Pittsburgh ever had. Like so many of us, his immigrant family moved here to build a new life, and through his uncommon strength and surprising grace he embodied the spirit of Pittsburgh on the world stage.

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood are of sitting in the basement with my grandfather on Saturday mornings and watching Bruno wrestle. They both came from the same part of Italy, and when my grandfather – who was five-foot-eight – would watch Bruno wrestle he became six-feet-ten.

I consider it a great personal honor that Bruno and I later became friends.

I join all other Pittsburgh residents in saying ‘Thank you, Bruno’ and we will miss you.”