Legendary Strongman Don Reinhoudt, 1979 WSM Champ, Dead At 78

Don Reinhoudt

Legendary strongman Don Reinhoudt, winner of the 1979 World’s Strongest Man competition and perennial powerlifting champ, has died at the age of 78.

According to police, Don was involved in a car crash on Monday in upstate New York. Further details are not yet clear.

6’3″ Reinhoudt started competing in the early ’70s … and was a four-time IPF Men’s World Powerlifting champ between 1973 to 1976, according to Generation Iron. He was also a 3x AAU US National Powerlifting champion from ’74 to ’76.

Then, the World’s Strongest Man competition launched in 1977. After declining to participate during the first year, Don agreed to compete in 1978, where he came in second place (behind 2x champ Bruce Wilhelm).

The following year, Reinhoudt returned, and took the top spot … earning the moniker the “world’s strongest man.” Don was just the second man to ever win the competition.

Reinhoudt, who set dozens of records throughout his career, was inducted into the National Strength and Power Hall of Fame in 2018.

News of Don’s death has begun the spread throughout the powerlifting and strongman community, with competitors and fans alike expressing condolences over the loss.

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Strongman Laurence Shahlaei weighed in, writing … “Very sad to learn about the passing of Don Reinhoudt, the second man to win The World’s Strongest Man, and one of the pioneers of the modern sports of Powerlifting and Strongman.”

“I was lucky enough to talk to Don a couple of times, and he was incredibly kind and a real gentleman with so many stories to share. Our thoughts are with his wife, family and friends.”


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