Legendary bodybuilder, Oregon-native, Bill Pearl passes away

PHOENIX, Ore. – Legendary bodybuilder and long-time Phoenix resident, Bill Pearl, passed away on Wednesday.

Pearl was crowned “Mr. Universe” four-times including being named “World’s Best-Built man of the Century” back in 1974.

His wife announced on Facebook that Parkinson’s Disease May have played a role in his death.

But now worldwide he’s being remembered by those in the bodybuilding community.

“No one beat him,” a friend of Pearl Brad Krayer said. “Just a humble man, smart man. He wrote several books that were very successful. He was like the king of the bodybuilding world for many many years.”

Many in the bodybuilding community have since taken to social media to mourn his loss including arguably the most famous bodybuilder of all time, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The actor posted on Instagram Wednesday.

“Bill Pearl will live forever in the millions of people he inspired,” he said. “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.”

Bill Pearl was 91-years-old.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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