Don Moses Lerman Retires

The news was received with sadness by fans, who have recently endured a spate of high-profile retirements. The departure of Badlands Booker, Cookie Jarvis and Don Lerman from the roster of active eaters has essentially ended an era.

"The top eaters of the 20th Century are now nearly all gone," said IFOCE president Richard Shea. "It reminds of that Don Henley song, 'The Boys of Summer,' which makes me sad when I hear it. It also kind of reminds me of that Dan Fogelberg song, 'Auld Land Syne,' but not as much."

Don Lerman helped to define the sport of eating. The former hamburger eating, jalapeno pepper eating and matzo ball eating champion of the world still retains his title as butter eating champion of the world.

Lerman, who has always been known for his sartorial splendor, owns 43 cutomized outfits all centered on eating. He has been called "The Fastest Hands in Competitive Eating," "Grandpa Don Lerman" Don "Moses" Lerman, "Cousin Chubby," "Gustav Zychick" and "90-Year-Old Don Lerman."

"Bad things come in threes," said IFOCE Chair George Shea, according to the eating news website, "It is true with plane crashes and it is true with retirements." Shea pointed out that only Kevin Lipsitz remains active out of all the renowned 20th Century eaters.

Lerman, who has been featured in more television documentaries and competitive eating specials than perhaps any other eater in history, will remain active in the sport he loves through a budding career as a commentator. His work on the recent series, Eats of Strength, was universally praised by competitive eating experts.

"Competitive eating will never be the same," said George Shea.

Lerman, a retired day-old bread salesman, lives in Levittown with his French bulldog, Cammie.

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