There has been much speculation as to the health and welfare of Dennis Tinerino. We thought it might be best to post this letter, which was recently sent by pastor Graham Cathers to friends and ministry partners:
I hope this letter finds you blessed and doing well in this New Year. I wanted to take just a moment of your time to talk about a mutual friend of ours, Dennis Tinerino.
You may or may not know that Dennis was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor last year. The first reports seemed hopeful for a full recovery, but since that since that time the mass has increased and a change in the medication was prescribed, which has stopped working.
I’ve had the privilege of being Dennis and Anita’s pastor over the past several years, and they are the real deal. They are two of the most generous people I’ve ever met with their time, compassion, and resources.
Dennis is a prophet and evangelist who lives by preaching the Gospel. God has led him to cut back on his itinerant ministry in order to spend intimate time with the Lord in prayer, standing for his healing. This cuts back on his income to keep the ministry going.
While his health insurance covers some of the expenses, many of the doctors’ visits, x-rays, procedures, and prescriptions are not covered. As his friend, I would like to ask you to consider helping him in two ways:
First, would you have your intercessory prayer ministry begin to uphold Dennis at this time for his complete recover? I know Dennis and Anita would be grateful for your partnership in this capacity.
Second, would it be possible for you or your church to assist Dennis with these ongoing expenses? Should you want to help with a love offering, Dennis and Anita would be most grateful.
Thanks again for your friendship and partnership in ministry.
In His love,
Pastor Graham Cathers
Born December 25, 1945
Brooklyn, New York
On Christmas Day 1945 in Brooklyn, New York, Dennis Tinerino was born into a nurturing Italian-American family of modest means. As a youngster, Tinerino shared his father’s interest in boxing and baseball, and he watched Jack LaLanne on television and exercised along during the broadcast. But it was after seeing some boys perform chinups in the park, and trying for himself only to find out he couldn’t do them, that he vowed to get in shape.
Like many teens his age, Tinerino sent away for the now-famous Charles Atlas course. But after, as he put it, “five months of pulling and tugging” one body part against another, he was displeased with the paltry results. He changed his program, using five-pound dumbbells he had at his home, then pooled resources with a buddy to purchase 200 pounds of iron. From ages 13 to 16, he packed three inches onto his arms, netting 16 inches total at a bodyweight of 175 pounds.
At East New York Technical High School, Tinerino took up a rather unique sport, fencing, prompted by a fellow student who commented that he was probably too muscle bound to participate. He became very skilled at the sport, even forsaking weight training during his junior year. After high school, he worked for Olympic Radio and TV and met
Mr. Universe, Joe Abbenda, who taught him advanced methods during their five-day-per-week training sessions.
Tinerino’s first competition, while still in high school, was onstage at the RKO Movie Theater in New York – at the age of 16, he won the Mr. RKO Hercules title. In 1965, his victories included Mr. East Coast, Teen Mr. America, Jr. Mr. USA and Mr. North America. In 1967 he triumphed at the AAU Jr. Mr. America and the AAU Sr. Mr. America. He then crossed the pond to compete in the NABBA Universe in England, winning in 1968.
His IFBB pro contest history contained a bittersweet moment when he was declared the winner of the Pro Universe in 1975, only to be disqualified later when officials realized he was supposedly on suspension from entering IFBB events. Ironically, his only IFBB pro win would be that same title in 1981. He retired after placing 14th in the 1982 Mr. Olympia.
Tinerino converted to Christianity after some wrong life choices landed him in jail in 1978 and 1979. Today, he and his wife, Anita, continue the ministry that they began in 1979, Dennis Tinerino Ministries, and they are at work on a book, Blood, Sweat and Victory.