Years of family stories inspired Tonya Russo Hamilton, who teaches at Tualatin Elementary, to interview her father, Antonio “Tony” Russo, and share his story with the world.
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This photo shows Tony Russo with a couple of future champs at Wrestling with the Devils, Book Release Event! The 120 books we had available for sale sold out in two hours. The library remained packed for a solid 3 hours. Former athletes that Tony had inspired traveled from all over the state to see him. It brought to light an entirely new angle to the book I hadn’t given much thought to: Tony’s coaching style. Click photo above to read more….
As many as 26 million Americans claim some Italian ancestry (origini italiane). In the greatest surge of immigration, between 1880 and 1920, some four million Italians left their fatherland (patria) for the United States. About 80 percent came from the impoverished south of Italy (Sud Italia), mainly from Sicily, Campania, Abruzzo, and Calabria.
Italians and their descendants (gli italiani e i loro discendenti) helped shape the modern United States of America…
Click photo (Tony at age 11 upon his arrival in Portland, OR) to read entire article by Author of, La Bella Lingua, Dianne Hales.
Sun Devil matman tells Italian Immigrant story in ‘Wrestling with the Devil’
Picture this: You’re a ten-year-old who’s only known life in a tiny Italian village. Suddenly, your parents put you on a ship bound for the U.S., to live with relatives you’ve never met, in a country where you don’t speak the language.
Sounds like something out of a dramatic Hollywood movie…
Click photo of Tony during his Sun Devil wrestling days to read more!
Mark Palmer, Senior writer for InterMat Wrestling interviews Tony Russo’s daughter and co-author, Tonya Russo Hamilton.
“Obstacles cannot crush me.”
Those words, uttered by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago, have served as a foundation for the life of Antonio Russo, whose Italian family put him alone on a ship bound for the U.S. as a ten-year-old. In his new homeland, Russo overcame numerous obstacles….
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Wrestling with the Devil, featured in the September 6, 2012 issue of, L’Italo-Americano Newspaper!
Wrestling with the Devil, featured in the December 13, 2012 issue of, The Italian Tribune, out of New Jersey.