Hot Truck Founder Robert Petrillose Dies

At a school where the faces across campus change at a rapid pace, one would be hard pressed to find an institution that has more consistently or significantly played a role in Cornell student life during the past several decades than the Hot Truck.

It’s no surprise then that current Cornell students and alumni are mourning the loss of the founder and longtime operator of the Hot Truck, Robert C. Petrillose Sr., who was known around campus as “Hot Truck Bob.” Petrillose died on Dec. 8 in Elmira, N.Y. after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 77 years old.

Petrillose started his career at the family-owned Johnny’s Big Red Grill in Collegetown. While working as the chef and manager of Johnny’s, Petrillose started his pizza truck business in 1960.