Mr. America (contest)
|Awarded for||Physical fitness, trained muscular structure|
|First winner||Bert Goodrich|
|Most recent||Jay Brew (2020)|
The Mr. America contest is a bodybuilding competition started by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). It was first held on July 4, 1939, and the winner was named "America's Best Built Man". In 1940 this was changed to what is now known as the Mr. America contest. In the mid-1940s, Joe and Ben Weider started the IFBB as an alternative to the AAU. They held their opposing contest, the IFBB Mr. America, in 1949 and then from 1959 through 1977. Rights to the Mr. America name have been sold several times after AAU discontinued holding the contests in 1999.
The AAU voted to discontinue holding bodybuilding competitions in 1999. In March 2017, AAU Strength Sports Chairman Martin Drake brought bodybuilding and fitness back to the AAU.
In 2004, the World Bodybuilding & Fitness Association (WBFA) announced they had acquired the rights to the Mr. America name and would resume running contests under that banner.
Bob Bonham acquired the rights and from 2011 through 2013 held the Mr America contest under the sanction of the INBF (International Natural Bodybuilding Federation), which is the amateur division of the WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation). The contests were drug tested under strict WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) guidelines using U.S. Olympic laboratory testing.
In 2015, rights to Mr. America were acquired by Bruce Ebel, and the contest's annual event cycle resumed via MRA Promotions. Qualifying events in spring were sponsored by the National Gym Association (NGA), Nspire Sports League (NSL), and Ultimate Fitness Events (UFE). The Mr. America Expo and contest was to have been held in Baltimore in October 2017.
In 2020, the contest resumed in the face of the pandemic as a non-sanctioned event (with no specific organization affiliation) promoted by Marc Tauriello of East Coast Fitness Concepts. The Mr. America Sports Festival & Expo was held October 9–11, 2020, in Atlantic City, New Jersey at the Atlantic City Sheraton Ballroom.[better source needed]
1988 AAU Mr. America winners
|5th||Brian Silk Sr|
|2nd||David Brown (3)|
|Year||Location||Overall Winner||Classic Physique|
|2011||New York City, New York||Rawle Greene|
|2012||Secaucus, New Jersey||Daniel White|
|2013||Secaucus, New Jersey||John Heart|
|2014||(No show held)|
|2015||Rochester, New York||Cleveland Thomas|
|2016||Washington, D.C. (Six Flags America)||Shevon Cunningham|
|2017||(No show held)|
|2018||(No show held)|
|2019||(No show held)|
|2020||Atlantic City, New Jersey||Jay Brew||Joe LaCerra|
- "Mr. America History". mramerica.com. Archived from the original on June 14, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- "2018 AAU Strength Sports Recognition Program". AAU Strength Sports (Press release). Amateur Athletic Union. May 7, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
2017 [...] with the return of AAU Bodybuilding
- Barton, Chancellor (April 11, 2019). "AAU championships provide a full body of work". Laughlin Times. Laughlin, Nevada. Retrieved April 9, 2020 – via Mohave Daily News.
- "Mr. America Qualifying Events". MRA Promotions. Archived from the original on October 30, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- "Mr. America Info and Registration". mramerica.com. Archived from the original on June 2, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Tauriello, Marc (March 31, 2020). "Mr. America". Facebook. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
- Fair, John D. (2015-01-05). Mr. America: The Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-76082-0.
- Fair, John D. (2015). Mr. America. University of Texas. Appendix. ISBN 978-0292760820.
- "Cleveland Thomas". Mr. America. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
- "Mr. America 2016 All American Sports Festival – Event Recap". Mr. America. August 1, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
- Fair, John D. Mr. America: The Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon (2015) Excerpt
- The Mr. America Contest: A Brief Background
- The History of the Mr./Ms. America Contest (archived)
- The Mr. America Contest: 1988 Competition
- Official Mr. America Page