Old Mane

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In July, Robert Ritzmann will turn 91 years old. He is the oldest living former Nittany Lion mascot and also its longest serving, with three years under his belt during the years after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He served from 1942 to 1945.

Ritzmann lives alone in a small apartment at Foxdale Village, a retirement community in State College, following the death of his wife in 2014. Pictures and memorabilia from Penn State hang on his walls. His bookshelf holds one of his most prized possessions – his book about the history of the Nittany Lion.
Ritzmann was the first lion to serve after the dedication of the lion shrine. He recalls watching, day after day, as the block of limestone was carved into the lion — and he has a miniature lion outside his home to remind him of the finished statue.