Death: Dave Draper Legendary Bodybuilder & owner of World Gym dies at 79

Dave Draper Death: Dave Draper, 79-year-old, a resident of Aptos, a former world-class bodybuilder and owner of World Gym in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley passed away on Tuesday morning, November 30, 2021. His death was announced by his wife Laree on a Facebook post. She stated that he died early Tuesday morning and she was with him as he passed away calm and peaceful. “Dave died early this morning. I was with him and it was calm and peaceful. It, as his doctor told me a little while ago, was a good death.”

He was born in Secaucus, New Jersey on April 16, 1942. He began his weight training at the age of ten and was a well-formed habit by the time he was about 12, in the mid-1950s. In high school, he participated in wrestling, gymnastics, and swimming, but was most inspired by training with weights. He is an Aptos resident, an iconic, former world-class bodybuilder, owned World Gym in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley two decades after winning Mr. America, Mr. Universe, and Mr. World titles

Draper, who stood 6 feet, 235 pounds, was known as the “Blond Bomber.” Born in Secaucus, New Jersey, Draper began weight training at a young age. He won the 1962 Mr. New Jersey bodybuilding title as a 21-year-old and moved to Santa Monica six months later. In Southern California, he trained at the now-legendary Gold’s Gym alongside fellow icons Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Mike Katz, and Franco Columbu. Training with the world’s best, he earned titles as Mr. America in 1965, Mr. Universe in 1966 and Mr. World in 1970, as recognized by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness.

He appeared on nearly a dozen TV shows and in multiple films, including “Lord Love a Duck” in ’66 and “Don’t Make Waves” in ’67. He also appeared on “The Beverly Hillbillies” and was a guest on “Pat Boone in Hollywood” in ’67 and “The Merv Griffin Show” in ’71. he also wrote books, columns, and blog posts on his website, davedraper.com. “A Glimpse in the Rear View,” “Brother Iron, Sister Steel,” “Iron on My Mind” and “Iron in My Hands” are among the highly regarded books he authored. He used a multitude of media platforms to discuss his alcohol and drug addictions, which led to his congestive heart failure, and his sobriety since 1983.

Dave Draper’s obituary and memorial will be announced by the family

Photo Credit (PC) goes to Generation Iron

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