This month we’ve been celebrating Tony’s 86th birthday by sharing stories about Tony and of people whose lives he has impacted.
Today, let’s go a little deeper!
While talking with Tony about his birthday this week, he shared some little known facts about his life. Are you ready to take the Tony Trivia Quiz? Ready, Set, Go!
1) Tony was born on Monday, February 25, 1935, when FDR was President and Pius XI was Pope. But where Tony was born?
A: University of Pennsylvania Hospital. Tony was born sickly and stayed in the hospital for four months. He bonded so closely with his attending doctor and nurse that Tony’s parents would invite them over for dinner after he moved home from the hospital.
2) In addition to being known for his beloved stories, Tony is regarded as having a nearly photographic memory, demonstrated by his recall and recitation of Scripture and passages of books he’s read. But do you know when and how he learned to memorize scriptures?
A: In high school Tony was mentored by an accountant named Tom Roop during a Saturday night Bible study, which came to be known as the Bible Buzzards for how they studied and memorized the scriptures.
But the defining experience of his teenage years was his involvement with “The Bible Buzzards,” a group of about fifty teens who met on Saturday evenings to study the Scriptures with a lay teacher named Tom Roop. “It was through these weekly gatherings,” says Tony, “that I made the decision to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord and to commit myself to Christian ministry. It was there that I learned what serving God was all about. I can’t overemphasize the importance The Bible Buzzards had in the formation of my personhood.”
3) What famous theoretical physicist did Tony meet as a teenage?
A: Growing up, Tony had a strong interest in science, especially astronomy. At age fourteen, he won second place in the National Science Fair, which led to a chance to meet Albert Einstein as well as a job lecturing at Philadelphia’s renowned science museum, The Franklin Institute.
4) How many degrees has Tony earned from Eastern (College) University?
A: Bachelor of Arts 1956 from Eastern Baptist College;
Bachelor of Divinity (equivalent to the current Master of Divinity) 1960 from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary;
Master of Theology 1961 from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary;
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters 2006 from Eastern University
5) Tony is a proud Italian and proudly bald – he has been since his early twenties. But do you know what kind of hair he had as a toddler?
A: Believe it or not, as a child, Tony had long, blond locks of hair!
6) What famous NBA basketball player did Tony compete against in high school?
A: Tony was an avid athlete in high school and at Eastern College. His favorite sport was basketball. In high school, Tony’s West Philadelphia High School was rival to Wilt Chamberlain’s Overbrook High School. When Tony and West Philly played Wilt and Overbrook, the strategy was for Tony to double-team Wilt and try to distract him him Tony’s stories and jokes. It never worked. Wilt and Overbrook won. Wilt and Tony were members of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, where Wilt’s memorial service was held after his death 1999.
7) Tony’s mom wouldn’t allow him to play football in high school. What did Tony do to ensure he could attend every football game, including away games?
A: He joined the cheerleading squad!
In honor of Tony’s amazing life and ministry and his 86th birthday, we’ve launched a special celebration effort to raise $86,000 for the Campolo Center Scholarship Fund. Donations made in honor of Tony’s birthday will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, towards the $86,000 goal for the Campolo Scholarship Fund. If you’ve already sent a check or made a gift online — thank you for your generosity and partnership!