Andrea Rossi -Early Years - Illness & Determination

Andrea Rossi was born in 1950 on June 3rd, to Luigi and Ada Rossi. His father owned a factory that built incinerators used by various industries. The result is that Andrea grew up working in his father’s metals shop, working with welders, lathes, and other tools. He became, from around age 7, quite comfortable and knowledgeable with manufacturing and tooling techniques. He credits this early exposure and his parents’ own work ethics to his own achievements.

His biggest problem at that age was his health. When he was born, he had such severe asthma that the doctors did not think he would live long. Allergies to fish, eggs, citrus, and many different plants would trigger his asthma, making it necessary for him to avoid contact with people and situations. As he said, “I had to be kept virtually vacuum packed…” [1]  It kept him from pursuing the same activities of other children his age, and contributed to developing a competitive nature. As he grew up, he was determined to be the best at anything he did.

At age 12, Rossi says that he rebelled against his health restrictions and took up boxing. Perhaps he had the energy to do this because he had finally outgrown his childhood illness, going into puberty. Or, as he said, “Curiously, when I decided not to live in a glass house anymore I recovered from my asthma.”[2]

Whatever the reason for his recovery, Rossi became a very good boxer. His instructor was a flyweight champion, and Rossi said that as a result, he depended on technique rather than brute strength. Rossi said, “Since I was a lightweight I could just rely on technique. The others couldn’t hit me, I learned to dodge and I always won.”[3]

As a teenager, around age 17, he started running track. He became a long-distance runner who broke records. In 1969, when he was 19, he broke Bertarelli’s record for the twenty-four hour run. The 78 year old Junior World Record was 155 km in a twenty-four hour period. Rossi ran a little over 175 km. The very next year, he became the champion in Italy’s cross country competitions.

This determination and ability to focus was a sign of things to come. The local newspaper acclaimed his accomplishment with a picture of him hugging his mother after the exhausting race, and stated, “…Andrea Rossi is a beautiful young man of our time, one of many who despite public enthusiasm for much more convenient and acclaimed sports still believe in the beauty of lonely and exhausting challenges, bordering on the unbelievable, like the one he just achieved.” [4]


At that time and place, the newspaper did not realize how prophetic their words would be. Rossi has gone on to prove that he continues to be capable exhausting and lonely challenges, without public enthusiasm for his efforts.

[1][2] [3] [4]  Lewan, Mats (2014-09-30). An Impossible Invention: The True Story of the Energy Source that Could Change the World . Mats Lewan. Kindle Edition