Vegan bodybuilder Jim Morris passed away at the end of January aged 80.
Jim started bodybuilding as a young man and won numerous titles. In 1972 he won Mr USA and in 1973 he won Mr America. Mr America was won by the largest winning points margin ever, a record that still stands today.
He was also the oldest winner at age 37, and that record still stands.
Jim was a controversial figure in that bodybuilding was predominantly participated in by white athletes and aside from being an African American, Jim was openly homosexual.
Pumping iron in his 70s
As an older man Jim turned vegan as he felt the cruelty of the meat and dairy industries were incompatible with his respect and love of animals. He was also keen to improve his health.
Many were astounded at Jim’s physique in his later years and news items reported with disbelief on his muscular appearance when in his 60s and 70s.
The ‘nice guy’ of bodybuilding
Jim continued to train and coach and was well known by many for his positive outlook, his warmth, his supportive nature and kindness.
When Great Vegan Athletes was launched in 2011 Jim responded to our contact request and generously gave his time and opinions in an interview.
Jim is reported to have died peacefully in his sleep at home. Many were shocked to hear that he died as he was energetic and positive into his later years, although many referred health conditions with had developed while following extreme non vegan diets while competing.
Jim has been remembered warmly following his death so it’s fitting that we should finish with great man’s words:
“Health and well being are a way of life. Not a certain diet or set of exercises or any other single area, but a combination of all the aspects of your life. Accept full responsibility for yourself, your health and your choices…You are your own creator and creation.”