From Bill Pearl’s Facebook Page:
BILL PEARL … A LIFE WELL SPENT
William Arnold Pearl was born in Prineville on October 31, 1930. While he was still a young boy, the family moved to Yakima, Washington, where his father opened a restaurant. Bill and his brother and sister worked in the resteraunt, Bill washing dishes,three or four nights a week and weekends, for no pay. To earn money he worked summers in Hop fields or orchards.
From a young age, Bill Pearl identified with the skinny, weak character portrayed in Charles Atlas commercials, which boasted the benefits of weight lifting and bodybuilding. Inspired by sibling rivalry and the desire to become like Charles Atlas, Bill lifted gallon cans of vegetables and gunnysacks of potatoes while working in the restaurant.
While serving in the United States Navy, Pearl was stationed in San Diego, where he began training at Leo Stern’s gym. Encouraged by Stern, at age 22, he won the first of several major bodybuilding contests including the 1953 AAU Mr. California and Mr. America events. The same year, he captured the NABBA Amateur Mr. Universe title in London.
In 1956, Pearl won the Professional Mr. USA contest, with Clancy Ross placing second.
Subsequently, Bill’s international tours earned him NABBA Professional Mr. Universe titles in 1961, 1967, and 1971. His competitive bodybuilding career spanned a nineteen-year peroid
Complementing his interest in weight training and bodybuilding, Pearl became a leader in the fitness industry. He owned and managed several gyms on the West Coast from the 1950s through the 1970s.
in 1962, Pearl purchased George Redpath’s gym in central Los Angeles, that became one of the first co-ed facilities in the United States. The gym attracted national and Olympic track athletes, professional baseball players, and world-class power-lifters and bodybuilders.
During his career, Pearl trained and coached nine Mr. America winners and fourteen Mr. Universe champions. In the 1960s, he contracted with North American Rockwell’s Aerospace Program to guide training protocols for Rockwell executives and astronauts. This job lasted for nearly ten years.
With Bill’s fame as a world-class bodybuilder, came opportunities to speak about fitness, weight training, and bodybuilding. During the 1960s, Pearl traveled to more countries than any other Mr. America before him.
Spreading advice about fitness, weight training, and bodybuilding became a lifetime commitment for Pearl, and he wrote three best-selling books, including Keys to the Inner Universe (1978), Getting Stronger (1986), and Beyond the Universe: The Bill Pearl Story (2003).
Getting Stronger: Weight Training for Men and Women, which has sold 850,000 copies woldwide, and has been translated into four other languages, including Chinese.
His book, Keys To The Inner Universe contains 1,500 weight-training exercises, weighs five pounds, has sold over 75,000 copies in English, and was also translated into German and Italian.
Pearl had his own monthly question-and-answer column called “Pearl of the Universe” in the bodybuilding magazine Muscle Mag International as well as one in Muscle Builder (later Muscle & Fitness) magazine , titled “Wisdom of Pearl” in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 2003, with co-author Kim Shott, Pearl published his autobiography, Beyond The Universe: The Bill Pearl Story.
During the 1980s, Pearl served as a mentor, trainer and training partner to many of the top professionals that were still competing, including Mr. Olympia, Chris Dickerson.
At this time he traveled extensively for Life Fitness as, among other things, a good-will ambassador. One of the presentations he did for them was a slide presentation on The Golden Age of Strength. This was the inspiration for his (Labor of Love) “Legends of the Iron Game” which he compiled over a period of eight years.
In 2004, Pearl was awarded the Arnold Swarzenegger Classic Lifetime Achievement Award for significantly impacting the world of bodybuilding. (A list of other awards can be found on Wikipedia.)
Pearl retired from bodybuilding and settled in Phoenix, Oregon, in 1978, where he operates Bill Pearl Enterprises. His workout facility is housed in a barn on his property, and people have come from all over the world to work out with him.
These days his Facebook posts take up most of his time.
Message From Judy Pearl:
TO ALL OUR FAITHFUL FACEBOOK FRIENDS:
As you all know, Bill has overcome a lot of things that would have taken down a lesser man in this past year.
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.
He passed peacefully at home at 4:00 A.M this morning.
All day yesterday he was fretting about his facebook page,and had me post a couple of things he had prepared.
He loved to share stories of other peoples triumphs and accomplishments.
he had written a lot while his page was down last year which he asked me to continue to post.
He so much appreciated your prayers and messages of encouragement after his accident. He loved reading your comments and arguements. It kept him occupied when he was unable to do much physically. Thank you all. I know we will all miss him.