RIP Dave Draper: The Blonde Bomber Passes at Age 79


One of my very favorite bodybuilders of the '60’s.


A legend in the sport of bodybuilding, sad news


Looks like he lived a full life. RIP Dave.

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That is sad news, R.I.P

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Really surprising (despite his age) and sad news. Certainly a phenomenal physique, but more notable was his vibe and mindset. Stopped competing because he just loved lifting.

We were lucky enough to have two interviews with him here on the site and I was privileged to have done one of them.

He was also a great writer - all of his answers in the interviews are his own written word, they weren’t transcribed from audio - and his books and articles are really insightful, easy reads.

Dan John, Draper’s friend who also wrote forwards for two of his books, posted a really great tribute to the Bomber on his IG page: Daniel John on Instagram: "Dave Draper. RIP"


Those are both really good reads. I especially liked this bit in your 2009 interview:

" TM: Not to make it sound like you’re falling apart, but just a few months ago, you had a lumbar laminectomy. Are injuries unavoidable for the weight-lifting crowd?

DD: Injuries are avoidable if the lifter is sensible, cautious, controlled, and mildly motivated. The lifter with these personality traits generally lasts seven to 10 days under the iron before he escapes.

A determined bodybuilder is driven, daring, intense, and injury-bound. Comes with the territory. It’s the last rep and the extra plates that kill you. These are also the ones that build large, powerful, and well-shaped muscle.

What’s a lifter to do? Eat right, rest a lot, warm up plenty, focus on muscle engagement, maintain proper form, take exertion to 99%, not 101%, and learn from the inevitable injuries that strike you down."


Dave had several books published, all great reads! Dave had a gift for writing & had a special, appealing way with words that would keep you reading, long after you intended to stop. Do yourself a favor and check them out. Feels like the party is emptying out…

DJ got something in his eye …damn, I felt that.

Kudos to him to for basically making it to 80/ outlasting 90% of his peers.
-I know he had a bad period with alcohol but he clearly took health and longevity seriously and practised what he preached

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Don’t know how I missed this. I loved Dave and his writings. What a unique character. He was still ripped at age 75 (see photo) — and then dead 4 years later. You never know…

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NOT to trash the guy, but he had some dark years after retiring from professional BB. The good news is that he beat alcohol and was clean and sober since 1975. He also beat congestive heart failure in the 80s. A really Tough Nut, but also a nice guy!!