Bob Petrella was born and raised in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, a small blue collar town which is located about 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. His father made his living working on an assembly line at the local steel mill. His mother was a stay-at-home mom, raising Bob and his two brothers.
Even though Bob has had his memory ability since... well, since as far back as he can remember, it wasn't something that necessarily translated into exceptional grades in school. He was a decent, yet basically average student. Though he did excel in history, mostly because of his keen sense of remembering days and dates.
As a child, his extraordinary memory capability wasn't viewed as being odd or strange to his friends and family. Occasionally, when he would blurt out a fact, a date, or a particular memory in explicit detail, those around him would lightly pass it off as "That's just Bob being Bob." In fact, none of his family really knew the extent of Bob's extremely unusual ability until they watched an episode of "Nightline" in 2009 that did an extensive story on Bob and his exceptional memory.
After attending Penn State University for four years, Bob left with a degree in Radio and TV. He is proud of the fact that he was the first person in his family to graduate college.
Shortly after graduation, Bob moved to Los Angeles and began working in the stand-up comedy circuit and in improvisational troupes with the likes of Adam Carolla, Kathy Griffin, and Mathew Perry.
Later, Bob turned to television production and landed jobs as producer on such hit shows as "Deadliest Catch" and "Ice Road Truckers." There he was able to use his memory to his advantage by quickly calling up archival footage and sound bites without needing to refer to notes or transcripts.
Bob's passion for sports is strong, particularly the Pittsburgh Steelers. He can recall the date, most final scores, and notable details of every Steelers game played since 1976.
Bob became involved with the University of California, Irvine in 2009, when they began a study of people with this rare memory ability. He was soon sought out by the media and has since appeared on such shows as Nightline, The View, and 60 Minutes (three times). He has garnered worldwide attention and has even made numerous international TV appearances.
Currently, Bob is traveling the country talking about his journey with HSAM. How it has affected his life, his career and the relationships he has made along the way, and offering invaluable tips on how you can improve your own memory.