He turned the fame he earned as one of the wrestlers of the sport’s golden age into fame as a Blasdell restaurateur.
Twenty years after his death, Ilio Di Paolo is remembered as a humanitarian, one of the biggest supporters of the Super Bowl-era Bills and an all-time Buffalonian.
"Ilio Di Paolo -- a wrestler, restaurateur and patriarch of an "extended family" that includes thousands of Western New Yorkers and a long list of Buffalo Bills -- died Wednesday night after he was struck by a car in the Village of Hamburg.
" 'We've lost a truly giant citizen,' longtime sportscaster Ralph Hubbell said today. 'He was all Buffalo. It seemed that everything he did was to benefit a community that had adopted him.' "