Anton Barichievich, the legendary strongman who earned two places in the “Guinness Book of Records,” died on Sept. 7 from a heart attack. He was 77.
Barichievich was born in Yugoslavia on Oct. 10, 1925. He always refused to talk about what he did during World War II, but he immigrated to Montreal in 1945 to work as a wrestler and strongman.
Known as “The Great Antonio,” the 6-foot-4, 465-pound Barichievich appeared in the “Guinness Book of Records” twice. The first time occurred in 1952 when he pulled a 433-tonne train down 64.95 feet of track. In 1960, he pulled four fully-loaded buses down St. Catherine Street in Montreal.
Although he appeared on numerous television shows, including “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” and “Real People,” Barichievich died penniless and with no known family. Fans who learned of his death paid for his funeral, including a specially made, extra-large casket.