Mr. America (contest)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mr. America
Bert Goodrich and Alan Stephan.jpg
Bert Goodrich (1939 winner, left) with Alan Stephan (1946 winner)
Awarded forPhysical fitness, trained muscular structure
First award1939
First winnerBert Goodrich
Most wins
2 times
Most recentCorey Brown (2021)

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.[1] Rights to the Mr. America name have been sold several times after AAU discontinued holding the contests in 1999. In 2022, Sammy Howorth and Mengwei Zhang were crowned as Mr. America, sharing the win.[citation needed]


The AAU voted to discontinue holding bodybuilding competitions in 1999.[citation needed] In March 2017, AAU Strength Sports Chairman Martin Drake brought bodybuilding and fitness back to the AAU.[2][3]

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).[4] The Mr. America Expo and contest was to have been held in Baltimore in October 2017.[5]

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.[6][better source needed]

Historic winners[edit]

Year Overall winners
AAU[1] IFBB[1] INBF Unsanctioned
1939 Bert Goodrich (First Mr. America, but not AAU sanctioned)[7]  
Roland Essmaker
1940 John Grimek
1941 John Grimek
1942 Frank Leight
1943 Jules Bacon
1944 Steve Stanko
1945 Clarence Ross
1946 Alan Stephan
1947 Steve Reeves
1948 George Eiferman
1949 Jack Delinger Alan Stephan
1950 John Farbotnik  
1951 Roy Hilligenn
1952 Jim Park
1953 Bill Pearl
1954 Dick DuBois
1955 Steve Klisanin
1956 Ray Schaefer
1957 Ron Lacy
1958 Tom Sansone
1959 Harry Johnson Chuck Sipes
1960 Lloyd Lerille Gene Shuey
1961 Raymond Routledge Gaétan D'Amours
1962 Joe Abbenda Larry Scott
1963 Vern Weaver Reg Lewis
1964 Val Vasilieff (also spelled Vasilef or Vasilief) Harold Poole
1965 Jerry Daniels Dave Draper
1966 Bob Gajda Chester Yorton
1967 Dennis Tinerino Don Howorth
1968 Jim Haislop Frank Zane
1969 Boyer Coe John Decola
1970 Chris Dickerson Mike Katz
1971 Casey Viator Ken Waller
1972 Steve Michalik Ed Corney
1973 Jim Morris Lou Ferrigno
1974 Ron Thompson Bob Birdsong
1975 Dale Adrian Robby Robinson
1976 Kalman Szkalak Mike Mentzer
1977 Dave Johns Danny Padilla
1978 Tony Pearson
1979 Ray Mentzer
1980 Gary Leonard
1981 Tim Belknap
1982 Rufus Howard
1983 Jeff King
1984 Joe Meeko
1985 Michael Antorino
1986 Glenn Knerr
1987 Richard Barretta
1988 William Norberg
1989 Matt DuFresne
1990 Peter Miller
1991 Joe DeAngelis
1992 Mike Scarcella
1993 Billy Nothaft
1994 Andrew Sivert
1995 Terence Hairston
1996 Doug Rieser
1997 Bill Davey
1998 Harvey H. Campbell
1999 Tracey Dorsey
2011 Rawle Green
2012 Dan White
2013 John Heart
2014 (No show held)
2015 Cleveland Thomas[8]
2016 Shevon Cunningham[9]
(No contests)
2020 Jay Brew
2021 Corey Brown

1988 AAU Mr. America winners[edit]

Overall winner
William Norberg


Place Tall
1st Rory Leidelmeyer
2nd Bob Gosch
3rd Jim Badra
4th Alex Sicignano
5th Bob Good


Place Medium-Tall
1st William Norberg
2nd Peter LaReau
3rd Peter Moen
4th Greg Ladd
5th Braulio Medina


Place Medium
1st Casey Kucharyk
2nd Abe Cuesta
3rd Doug Brown
4th Greg Long
5th Brian Silk Sr


Place Short
1st Bryan McCluskey
2nd David Brown (3)
3rd Don Lemieux
4th Brian Homka
5th Rod Ketchens

Recent winners[edit]

Year Location Overall Winner[1][10] Classic Physique
(added 2020)
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
2021 Atlantic City, New Jersey Corey Brown Dr. Jeremiah Wright

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Mr. America History". Archived from the original on June 14, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  2. ^ "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
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Mr. America Qualifying Events". MRA Promotions. Archived from the original on October 30, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  5. ^ "Mr. America Info and Registration". Archived from the original on June 2, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  6. ^ Tauriello, Marc (March 31, 2020). "Mr. America". Facebook. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  7. ^ Fair, John D. (2015). Mr. America. University of Texas. Appendix. ISBN 978-0292760820.
  8. ^ "Cleveland Thomas". Mr. America. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  9. ^ "Mr. America 2016 All American Sports Festival – Event Recap". Mr. America. August 1, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  10. ^ 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.

Further reading[edit]

  • Fair, John D. Mr. America: The Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon (2015) Excerpt

External links[edit]