Bodybuilding and the title of Mr. America go hand in hand. Dating all the way back to 1940 (the first year that the actual title was used, contest held since 1938), the Amateur Athletic Union held the annual competition that was the pinnacle of bodybuilding. The list of winners reads like a ‘who’s who’ of the early days of the sport. John Grimek, Clarence Ross, Steve Reeves and George Eiferman all took home first place during that initial decade.
As the years went on, the likes of Bill Pearl, Dennis Tinerino, Boyer Coe, Chris Dickerson, Casey Viator, Steve Michalik, Jim Morris, Tony Pearson, Ray Mentzer and Tim Belknap all were honored with victories. The last winner was Tracey Dorsey in 1999.
Now it is once again part of the bodybuilding schedule as an all-natural show sanctioned by the INBF. The man responsible for doing all of this is none other than Bob Bonham of Strong and Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Bonham has penned numerous articles for the various bodybuilding publications over the years and is well known throughout the industry.