Born in Italy, he came to the U.S. in 1930 as a boxer, and won his first seventeen bouts by knockout. In 1932 and 1933 he became the tallest heavyweight boxer in the world. Later he fought such greats as Max Baer and Joe Louis (both of whom knocked him out). By the time he retired in 1945, he had 89 wins and 14 losses.
In 1946, searching for a second career, he became a professional wrestler, and continued to draw the crowds through the 1960s.
His film career began in Hollywood in the 1930s, where he played himself in The Boxer and the Lady (1933) and Mr. Broadway (1933).
Umberto found a way around that little problem.