Joe Bellino was born on March 13, 1938 in Winchester, Mass, and starred in football, basketball and football at Winchester High School. In basketball, his team had a 55 game winning streak and won two state championships. He batted over .400 in baseball and was offered a contract by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Instead, he then went on to play football and baseball at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1960.

He was drafted in the 19th round of the 1961 AFL Draft and in the 17th round of the NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.

After four years of naval service, he decided to sign with the Boston Patriots and played in Boston for three years from 1965 to 1967. He rushed for a total of 64 yards and caught 11 passes for 157 yards in his career, but he primarily returned punts for a career total of 148 yards and kickoffs for 905 yards.

In 1968, he was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFL's expansion draft, but decided to retire.

During and after his pro career Joe served in the Navy and Naval Reserve for 28 years, retiring with the rank of captain. After the close of his playing career, he also was a successful businessman running a catering service for junior colleges in the Boston area, and active in many charitable organizations. 

In 1976 he coached Saint Columbkille, a small Catholic school.

In 1991, he was the first inductee into his high school's Winchester Sports Foundation Hall of Fame. In 1977, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

On March 28, 2019, Joe Bellino passed away from stomach cancer, at age 81, in Lincoln, Mass.