How a Cancer Survivor in His Early 30s Has Become One of YouTube’s Biggest Stars

I literally just finished the last spoonfuls of a Nutella jar in honor of my friend Furious Pete, the entrepreneur, World Record-holding competitive eater, sponsored bodybuilder, television host, and cancer survivor is featured in my next book 3 Billion Under 30, as well as my new YouTube series called “Stories From The 3 Billion Under 30”.

You see, Furious Pete’s first “viral” video was that of him completely crushing a full jar of Nutella in an action-packed four minutes of complete chocolatey hazelnut demolition. It’s with the same intensity that Furious Pete has grown into one of the most popular YouTubers in the world, built multiple companies from supplement lines to athletic apparel brands, break multiple world records for all sorts of eating challenges, and beat both anorexia and testicular cancer.


Pete’s story really begins with a tumultuous childhood that sent him into the disease known as anorexia. As a kid, he controlled his eating and limited caloric intake and exercise as a way to exercise power over this one area in his life at a time when his parents were both in the hospital for various reasons and his senior year of high school was proving too much to handle.

Things got so bad for him that Pete ended up on life support, weighing only 120 pounds at 6 feet 2 inches tall at his lowest point (health-wise, not height-wise obviously!). With ambitions of one day working at NASA, Pete had to put his dreams on hold after being released from the hospital to take his life back.

He did this by going public with his issues, asking family, friends, and the Internet at large for support in his recovery. He credits this as one of the major things that saved his life because he immediately became accountable for all his future actions once he started sharing constant updates about his health and recovery.

College meant normality once more, except for Pete’s ridiculous hunger for eating challenges. As you’ll hear in the interview above, it didn’t matter when, where, or why, Pete was always up for an eating challenge. Soon, he began recording these videos and uploaded content to YouTube, where he’s taken off over the last few years as fans figuratively “eat up” his near-daily vlogs, travel videos, food challenges, collaborations with social media stars like Roman Atwood, Rich Piana, Shay Carl, and others.

He also used his platform to once again go public when he was diagnosed, and later cured, of testicular cancer. Much like when he overcame anorexia, sharing his story forced him to stay positive and take appropriate steps to ensure his health would be restored. This time, using his influence, he was also able to bring awareness to a serious issue that impacts men all over the world, and inspired thousands of men to see doctors before their health issues became too out of hand. Advocacy for men’s health and pushing people to share their stories of struggle with the world has perhaps become Furious Pete’s biggest and most important job.

On his main channel, Furious Pete is about to hit 3.5 million subscribers at time of writing in early October. His other channels, like “Furious Pete Vlogs”, “SuppsReviews”, and “FuriousGamePlay” have 601,000 subscribers, 48,000 subscribers, and 166,000 subscribers respectively, and across other social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, his reach essentially doubles from that of his main YouTube channel.

As I got to see firsthand in New York City during our interview, however, all this success comes with little sleep. Pete’s like is a furious dash between event showcases with sponsors, recording content for his channels, editing all videos himself at night (a practice he is reluctant to hand off to an assistant or team member), recording television shows for a major German TV outlet and other projects not yet publicly announced here in the U.S.

He is also running his various businesses and overseeing design, manufacturing, fulfillment, and marketing of his apparel brand and other product offerings, and spending time with his fiance Melissa, or “MelDiva” as she’s become known for on Furious Pete’s channels and on social media. As fate would have it, Pete proposed to Melissa during a workout, which is fitting for this couple who just celebrated their seventh anniversary together.

Want to become one of YouTube’s most popular stars yourself? Awesome! Feel free to join Pete by documenting your entire life, uploading hundreds of videos, finding new ways to entertain fans, building relationships with other social media superstars, and spending every night for the next five years of your life editing videos. If you’re not ready for that, well then at least you can laugh at Pete’s next competitive eating World Record attempt.


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