Matt Mendenhall Dead: Bodybuilder Dies at Age 61

matt mendenhall

YouTube Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall was a legendary bodybuilder who has died at the age of 61, according to Generation Iron and friends’ posts on social media.

What was his cause of death? How did Matt Mendenhall die? That has not been revealed, but Generation Iron was among the sites reporting that he has passed away.

Generation Iron called Mendenhall “the greatest Bodybuilder to never turn Pro,” calling him “the Cincinnati bodybuilding legend Matt Mendenhall” and saying he “was regarded by many, including Lee Haney, as having one of the greatest physiques of the era.” He earned the nickname “Mr. Genetics,” according to Fitness Volt.


Matt Mendenhall – 1991 NationalsMatt Mendenhall posing backstage at the 1991 NPC Nationals2006-05-18T02:23:32Z

Haney, an eight-time Mr. Olympia once said of the Ohio-raised Mendenhall, according to Fitness Volt:

“One of the people that I kept my eye on that I felt was the most gifted bodybuilder that mother nature said ‘here it is’… was Matt Mendenhall. I have never till today seen a physique as complete, as genetically gifted as Matt Mendenhall. Matt was a walking He-Man, he was absolutely beautiful.”

Here’s what you need to know:


Mendenhall Was Remembered as a Person Who Was the ‘the Single Most Balanced Beautiful Classic Bodybuilding Physiques of All Time’

Athlete Cory Everson was among friends who confirmed Mendenhall’s death on Facebook.

“I have been struggling with what to say about my dear friend and brother in iron, Matt Mendenhall. Matt meant so much more to me than a bodybuilding legend. Matt was my friend, someone I could share my deepest stories with,” she wrote.

“We laughed and we cried together. We send each other silly goofy photos and we brought the child back out of each other. Yes he was the single most balanced beautiful classic bodybuilding physiques of ALL time, but he was so much more. He was funny and filled with faith and love, he was kind and honest, he wanted the best for mankind, he trusted God and asked for nothing but gave everything. He loved everyone equally whether you were a King, or an elevator operator.”

She continued:

He treated everyone with respect and dignity. He knew when it was time to quit competing when the sport took a turn for the worse. But he departed with class, charisma and he never looked back, nor did he gossip or spread rumor. He made the right choice. He had more potential than any other individual both departed or living yet chose his own path and went onto create personal greatness in his next chapter of his life. This past year, Matt and I had reconnected and communicated almost daily and I learned more and more about the incredible man he grew into being. I will miss our conversations. I will miss sharing our private stories and the laughs that came with them. Matt, I will miss your warmth and the prayers we shared. I will miss all of you, but I know where you are, and who you are with, and I know you are going to be in the best company enjoying your well deserved eternal life of health and happiness. I am so happy for you, but sad as I selfishly looked forward to our interaction. I thank you for all you did for me while on this Earth. Until we meet again my sweet little brother. Please say hi to Jeff and tell him I love him and miss him. RIP 🙏🏻❤️ #mattmendenhall #generationiron #bodybuilding #love #muscle #olympia #fitness #legends #oldschoolbodybuilding #classicbodybuilding #prayers


Mendenhall Was Sought After for Seminars as a ‘Fan Favorite’

According to Evolution of Bodybuiling, Mendenhall “competed against some of the best bodybuilders in the history of the sport. Going up against greats such as Lee Haney, Berry DeMey, Bob Paris, Mike Christian, Gary Strydom and many more.”

The site notes that even though he never went pro, “Mendenhall became a fan favorite with his good looks and beautiful physique.” He was sought after for seminars and “guest posing,” the site reported.

A car crash stymied his career years ago, according to Evolution of Bodybuilding.

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