Romano Died Of Natural Causes, Autopsy Discloses

Washington Post – June 27, 1936

Mike Romano, the wrestler who died in a bout with Jack Donovan at Griffith Stadium last Thursday night, succumbed from natural causes, an autopsy performed by Dr. Christopher J. Murphy, deputy coroner, disclosed yesterday.

Coroner A. Magruder MacDonald issued a certificate stating the heavyweight wrestling veteran had died “from coronary occlusion and chronic disease of muscles of the heart, liver, spleen and kidney.”

Donovan, who had been held in the custody of Detective Sergeant Walter Beck pending the coroner’s report, was released immediately and left for Richmond, where he wrestled last night. There will be no inquest.

Romano failed to rise from the mat after being thrown by Donovan in 13 – minutes of a bout scheduled for 30 minutes. When it became apparent that his condition was serious, physicians were sent for and they worked futilely over him until he was taken to Freedman’s Hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead.

Coroner MacDonald said Romano’s heart ailment was not acute, but of long standing, gradually making inroads on his physical condition until he succumbed easily in the Donovan match.

Romano died almost two weeks to the day after Steve Znosky was fatally stricken in a match with him in New York City. In that fatal bout, Romano noticed Znosky was ill and asked that the bout be stopped.

The contest was halted and Znosky died two days later from spinal meningitis.

In respect to the memory of Romano, who was one of the first big favorites in big-time wrestling here, promoter Joe Turner, who staged last Thursday’s card, will not operate a program of grappling next Thursday night. The regular shows will be resumed one week from that night.

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