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What’s Mystery of Bodybuilder Matt Mendenhall’s Cause of Death?

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The Greatest Bodybuilder to never turn Pro, Cincinnati bodybuilding legend Matt Mendenhall’s cause of death is still behind shadows after he passed away a few days ago at the age of 61. May he rest in power.

Matt Mendenhall became famous in the 1980s, showcasing a really mind-blowing physique at the height of his powers. Mendenhall was honored by many, including Lee Haney, as having one of the amazing physiques of the era.

Matt Mendenhall was also a personal trainer and made it his purpose to support others get into the greatest shape of their lives. The Generation Iron will proceed to follow this story as it develops.

The Greatest Bodybuilder to never turn Pro, Cincinnati bodybuilding legend Matt Mendenhall's cause of death is still behind sh

He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 26, 1960, and grew up in a family addicted to fitness; three of his siblings were bodybuilders, with two of them competing while he was a child.

In his early years, Matt didn’t follow the family steps. He was a keen football player and enjoyed pole-vaulting. Nevertheless, his amazing genetics let him grow a great physique without entering the gym.

He was only 15 in 1975 when he suffered a severe injury to his forearm while practicing pole-vaulting. He almost had his forearm removed at that time, and the doctor informed him that it wouldn’t recover completely.

Although, his siblings urged him never to give up. Under their guidance, he stepped into the gym and kicked off recovery using weights. It wasn’t long until he’d proved his doctor wrong – he’d recovered full use of his forearm and packed an effective amount of muscle mass onto his frame.


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Story Behind Bodybuilder Matt Mendenhall’s Cause of Death

Although there is no official report about Matt Mendenhall’s cause of death at this time, some rumors are following his death. Matt has a list of unfortunate illnesses that prevented him from reaching his top and earning his pro card. Some believed his health problems led to his passing

Matt performed in more than 9 competitions, winning 4 of them. However, he came second on many occasions; Matt lost very respectably; in 1982, 22-year-old Matt lost out to future legend Lee Haney.

However, he never managed to reach his genetic potential due to a series of serious illnesses and events.

In 1983, he suffered from a flu virus 3 weeks before the NPC Nationals. He lost significant weight and condition while recovering but stepped on stage after his parents arrived at the show, excited to see him compete.

A year later, he was involved in a car crash and was flung out of his front window. Although he recovered and brought his best shape to the competition, he was hit by Mike Christian to 1st place.


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Although in 1985, at 25, Matt gained a rare success. He joined the NPC USA Championships and took home the trophy in the heavyweight division. This victory gained him entry to the World Games that year.

3 years after he started lifting weights in the gym, Matt had sculpted an unbelievable physique. In his senior year, he’d surpassed all of his friends in terms of muscle and already seemed like a seasoned bodybuilder.

In 1978, at the age of 17, after encouragement from his family and school sports teacher, Matt entered his first competition – the Mr. Ohio High School show. Notwithstanding no training, posing experience, or even tan, Matt dominated the contest. He walked away from his debut with the trophy. It was at this point that Matt found out about his potential to succeed in the industry.


Matt Mendenhall’s Competitions

  • 1978 Mr Ohio High School, 1st
  • 1979 Teenage Mr Ohio, 3rd
  • 1980 Teen Mr. Metropolitan, 1st and Open winner
  • 1980 Mr. Ohio Association, 3rd
  • 1981 Mr Cincinnati 1st,
  • 1981 Buckeye Open, 1st
  • 1982 NPC Nationals, 2nd
  • 1983 NPC Nationals, 4th
  • 1984 NPC Nationals, 2nd
  • 1985 NPC USA Championships, 1st
  • 1985 IFBB World Games, 2nd
  • 1986 NPC Nationals, 2nd
  • 1987 NPC Nationals, 10th
  • 1988 NPC Nationals, 11th
  • 1991 NPC Nationals, 5th


Reactions to Death of Matt Mendenhall

Celebrities’ death news always breaks many hearts, but fans kindly remember memories, and their idols are alive in their hearts even after death.

Quickly after the tragic news was confirmed, many of Matt Mendenhall’s friends, teammates, and fans expressed their sadness on social media by posting their tributes:

Someone wrote, “My good friend Matt Mendenhall passed away. I’m unsure the cause, but he’s had a number of health issues, he was a former bodybuilder the best ever to not go pro and he’s a hell of a dude and was a wonderful physical therapist and trainer later in life. I’ll miss you, buddy.”

The Greatest Bodybuilder to never turn Pro, Cincinnati bodybuilding legend Matt Mendenhall's cause of death is still behind sh

Another tweeted, “Mr. Opiela spoke to me on the phone today where he got a phone call that his friend Mr. Mendenhall passed away. Mr. Opiela will get back to me and find out later to know how his friend died. Matt was a model for Skeletor back in the ’80s for Mattel.”


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