IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Lee Banks lost the long battle against cancer and passed away on February 2nd. He was 51 years old and took his final breath at the Mayo Clinic & Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. The news of Lee’s passing was announced by his wife Lafayette Banks on her personal Facebook page.
Lee started competing all the way back in 2022 when he participated in the 2002 NPC All South Championships in the Heavyweight division and finished sixth. After competing in the NPC League for nearly eight years, Lee Banks earned the IFBB Pro Card by winning the 2010 North American Championships heavyweight division and overall. He then competed in the Men’s Open division until 2013 and participated in several Pro shows and achieved top seven finishes in the 2011 Orlando Pro, 2012 & 2013 Tampa Pro and 2013 Chicago Pro.
However, Lee did the best work of his career in the Classic Physique division. He made the divisional debut with a runner-up finish at the 2017 Chicago Pro and continued to produce strong performances in the division and even finished in the top ten at the 2017 Olympia. The 2019 Atlantic Coast Pro proved to be his last stage appearance and Lee achieved a runner-up finish at the show.
Apart from being a consummate professional bodybuilder, Lee was also a successful businessman. He started two early learning centers and also had a successful fitness studio. Lee was a promoter of ‘Natural Gym Association’, a natural bodybuilding federation. At the time of his death, Lee Banks was working on his event that will take place in May 2023. The earnings from the show are supposed to be donated for cancer research.
Lafayette Banks issues a statement following Lee’s demise
Lee Banks got the first hints of a serious health issue when his metabolism suddenly changed as he was preparing for a bodybuilding competition in 2018. However, it was not until 2020 that he was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancerous carcinoid tumor. After battling with the disease for almost two years, he lost the battle and closed his eyes. Lee’s wife Lafayette Banks shared the struggle in an emotional message on her Facebook account.
“With an unbearable sorrow and seemingly insurmountable grief I let you know that at Mayo Clinic & Hospital Jacksonville on Thursday, February 2, 2023, in the 2100 (9pm) hour, my greatest love earned his wings and returned his soul to the house of our LORD forever.
In 2018 while in competition preparation @Lee became aware of an extreme change in his metabolism. For many months his medical labs and exams read normal and extremely healthy. Yet, he knew and he persisted. In 2020, a stage 4 cancerous carcinoid tumor was finally revealed in his intestines. After many battles, my warrior passed away from complications with carcinoid syndrome. Keep in mind that he was more than a bodybuilder. He was a soldier exposed to the perils of war.
I only ask for time, time to come back to myself, to feel my legs under me, to comfort our children, to simply miss my husband, my love, my partner in all things, my sole provider and soul provider. And then with HIS DIVINE GRACE and your assistance, we will celebrate his talent, honor his gift, preserve his legacy, and continue his service for a lifetime,” Lafayette Banks wrote in the caption to the post.
With an unbearable sorrow and seemingly insurmountable grief I let you know that at Mayo Clinic & Hospital Jacksonville…
Lee Banks Competition History
- IFBB Atlantic Coast Pro – 2nd
- IFBB Arnold Classic – 15th
- IFBB Chicago Pro (Classic Physique) – 3rd
- IFBB Karina Nascimento Pro – 2nd
- IFBB New York Pro – 4th
- IFBB Olympia – 9th
- IFBB Pittsburgh Pro – 3rd
- IFBB Chicago Pro (Men’s Open) – 6th
- IFBB Tampa Pro – 6th
- IFBB Europa Pro Supershow (Men’s Open) – 10th
- IFBB Masters Olympia – 12th
- IFBB Tampa Pro – 5th
- IFBB Orlando Show of Champions – 5th
- IFBB Tampa Pro (Men’s Open) – 14th
- IFBB North American Championships – Heavyweight and overall Winner (Earned the IFBB Pro Card)
- NPC National Championships (Heavyweight) – 2nd
- NPC USA Championships (Heavyweight) – 2nd
- IFBB North American Championships (Heavyweight) – 2nd
- NPC USA Championships (Heavyweight) – 3rd
- NPC All South Championships – Overall Winner
- NPC All South Championships (Heavyweight) – 1st
- NPC National Championships (Heavyweight) – 3rd
- NPC Nationals (Heavyweight) – 6th
- NPC USA Championships – Heavyweight – 8th
- NPC Nationals (Light-Heavyweight) – 6th
- NPC All South Championships – Overall Winner
- NPC All South Championships (Heavyweight) – 6th
Lee Banks embodied the spirit of the sport and his untimely demise is a major loss for the sport of bodybuilding. Fitness Volt gives heartfelt condolences to the Banks family.