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Bodybuilding Legend Bill Pearl Passes Away

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Bodybuilding legend and pioneer Bill Pearl has passed away at his home in Phoenix, Oregon on September 14, 2022 at 4:00am at the age of 91. The cause of death isn’t clearly known at this point. According to his wife Judy though, this past year Bill has overcome a lot of things that would have taken down a lesser man. Earlier this year in April, Bill was involved in a bizarre riding lawnmower accident that left him in the ICU. Just as he was getting back in the gym after his accident, he developed a bacterial infection (Pseudomonas) which he apparently picked up while in the hospital. After intense antibiotic therapy, he overcame that, but his wife Judy believes that it was his 2016 diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease that finally defeated him.

Born on October 31, 1930, Prineville, Oregon, Bill Pearl would set out to become one of the most popular and inspirational bodybuilders of all time. During the 1950s, 60s and early 70s, he won many titles and awards, including the Mr. Universe contest 4 times. During an 18 year span, no bodybuilder was more successful. Even with his final Mr. Universe win (at age 41), Pearl defeated Reg Park, Dave Draper and Mr. Olympias Sergio Olivaand Frank Zane. He would later go on to write a few books and serve as a mentor, trainer and training partner to many of the top professionals that were still competing at the time, including Mr. Olympia, Chris Dickerson. He even inspired the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger who presented him with the Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

This is what Arnold had to say about Bill’s passing:

“Bill Pearl will live forever in the millions of people he inspired. I know because I’m one of them - when my goals were just dreams, it was idols like Bill Pearl, one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, who motivated me to make the impossible possible. I put his photo above my little bed in Austria to remind me to keep pushing, to stay hungry, and to never give up. My thoughts are with his family.”

All of us at Muscle Insider send our deepest sympathies and sincerest condolences to the friends and family of Bill Pearl. May he Rest In Peace.

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