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 Mario “Motts” Tonelli

Photo added by Ron Moody

Mario “Motts” Tonelli

Star fullback for Notre Dame who survived the Bataan Death March during WWII. He was best known for a 77-yard run that helped Notre Dame beat the University of Southern California. At the beginning of the death march, a Japanese guard ordered him to remove his Notre Dame graduation ring only to have the ring returned moments later by a Japanese officer who said in perfect English that he had attended the USC game and watched the famous run. He spent 42 months as a POW and saw his weight drop from 212 pounds to only 92 pounds. He is a member of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.

Bio by: Ron Moody


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ron Moody
  • Added: 23 Apr 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7377067
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Mario “Motts” Tonelli (28 Mar 1916–7 Jan 2003), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7377067, citing Memorial Park Cemetery and Crematorium, Skokie, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .