Al Zampa

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Al Zampa

Alfred Zampa (March 12, 1905 – April 23, 2000) was a United States bridge worker who played an integral role in the construction of numerous San Francisco Bay Area bridges during the early twentieth century.[1] He is most notable for being one of the first people to survive falling off the Golden Gate Bridge.[2] He is a charter member of the Half Way to Hell Club, whose members are the men who fell from the Golden Gate Bridge and were saved by the nets.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Zampa was born in Selby, California. He retired from the position of Iron Worker at the age of 65 in 1970, and died at the age of 95 in Tormey, California.

Cultural influence[edit]

In 1987 writer Isabelle Maynard wrote and produced a play titled "The Ace" chronicling Zampa’s exploits on the Golden Gate Bridge and the formation of the Half Way to Hell Club. "The Ace" was based on Zampa's life and was advertised as an "iron worker’s story of heroism, risk and recognition on the Golden Gate Bridge.” It was well-received on San Francisco stages, especially during the bridge’s 50th anniversary year. The Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge is named in his honor. The new bridge replaced the 1927 span of the Carquinez Bridge which Al helped construct, beginning at the young age of 20.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ John V. Robinson Al Zampa and the Bay Area Bridges, Arcadia Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0-7385-2996-6
  2. ^ "Net Grounded; Bridge Worker Falls; May Die" San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 1936
  3. ^ Robinson, John V. Spanning the Strait: Building the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge, Carquinez Press, 2004
  • Robinson, John V. Spanning the Strait: Building the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge. Crockett, CA: Carquinez Press. (2004)
  • Robinson, John V. Al Zampa and the Bay Area Bridges. San Francisco: Arcadia Publishing. (2005)
  • Robinson, John V.Bay Area Iron Master Al Zampa: A Life Building Bridges.Charleston, SC: The History Press. (2015)
  • Schwartz, Harvey. Building the Golden Gate Bridge: A Workers' Oral History. Seattle:U of Washington Press. (2015)