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Rich Piana (1971 - 2017)

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Rich Piana (1971 - 2017)

Rich Piana, champion bodybuilder and controversial social media celebrity, died Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, two weeks after being placed in a medically induced coma, according to People.com. He was 46.

Piana was at his Florida apartment when he collapsed while getting a haircut from his girlfriend, according to TMZ. He was taken to a local hospital where he was placed in a medically induced coma, but did not recover. The exact cause of his death has not been released.

He was known across social media and within bodybuilding circles for his sometimes-controversial comments. He publically admitted to using steroids as part of his training regimen for decades. He encouraged fans to avoid the drugs if possible, but voiced his opinion that professional bodybuilders needed to use them to be competitive.


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Piana was born Sept. 26, 1971, and began bodybuilding at an early age. He was named Mr. Teen California at age 18, and was named Mr. California in 1998, at age 27.

Outside of competitive bodybuilding he appeared on TV series like “Scrubs” and “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” He was also a stuntman in the “Planet of the Apes” film.

He had over one million followers on Instagram. Online he promoted a message of personal growth and empowerment through exercise and discipline.

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