October 1998

Lee Haney

Body Builder

Lee Haney

Lee Haney is a world record holder who has a unique place in The Guinness Book of World Records. Known as an author, entrepreneur and body builder, he has been featured on Life Styles of the Rich and Famous, with Robin Leach. Most of all, however, he is recognized for being Mr. Olympia. “TotaLEEawesome” is the phrase that is most often associated with this remarkable human being. Mr. Olympia is the world’s most coveted body building prize. Haney captured the title in 1984 and held it for eight consecutive years, setting an all time world record. Haney was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in November 1959. He believed in academic preparedness. After graduating from high school, he earned a degree in criminal justice and youth counseling at Spartanburg Methodist College. A leg injury ended his hopes of becoming a professional football player. Refusing to be discouraged by the injury, he began lifting weights to regain his strength. Through hard work and self-motivation, he set his sights on becoming the world’s best body builder. As an amateur body builder, Haney held the titles of Mr. America and Mr. Universe. His first professional title was the Grand Prix, which he won in 1983. The following year, he won the first of his Mr. Olympia titles. When he won for the eighth successive time in 1991, he broke Arnold Schwarzenegger’s seven title record. Haney has the distinction of being the youngest, at 24, and the largest, at six feet and 260 pounds, to capture the title. He has won and defended his championships throughout the United States and Europe – from New York City to Brussels, Belgium, from Columbus, Ohio, to Goteborg, Sweden, from Los Angeles to Rimini, Italy, and Chicago and Orlando. Haney has written books, established fitness centers, and designed training programs. His exercise books, TotaLEEawesome and Ultimate Bodybuilding, provide valuable insights into physical growth and development. Lee Haney’s World Class Fitness Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, and Lee Haney’s Universal Center at Stone Mountain, Georgia, are two of his projected chain of fitness centers. Haney has designed training programs for renowned athletes such as Evander Holyfield, the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Sean Bradley of the National Basketball Association, baseball player Gary Sheffeild of the Florida Marlins, and football players Shannon Sharpe and Fred Stokes. The project that has given Haney the greatest satisfaction, however, is Haney’s Harvest House. Situated in College Park, Georgia. Harvest House is a forty acre retreat center for children of all ages and nationalities. The retreat provides an arena for a “back-to-basics” atmosphere that includes horseback riding, a petting zoo, and recreational fields. The ideals for Harvest House were instilled in Haney as a boy growing up on a small farm, where he learned that hard work and discipline were virtues.