Jeff Everson, the legendary bodybuilder, has died of natural causes at the age of 68. Everson was a former Mr. USA and Masters Mr. America titleholder during his storied career. While in college, Everson was an All-American shot put and hammer throw athlete.
In addition, Everson held a National Collegiate Olympic Weightlifting Championships record that held for 11 years. Everson later said of that achievement, “I also won the National weightlifting Collegiates with weights I can’t even roll across the floor now.” In that article, Everson also says that during his career, he trained with Hulk Hogan for a time.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Everson Has Been Described as ‘Brilliant, Innovative & Creative’
Sports medicine pioneer Dr. Robert Goldman confirmed Everson’s tragic passing in a Facebook post on the afternoon of February 26. Goldman described Everson as a “real innovator in everything from the body building sciences, to nutrition, to publishing… Jeff was brilliant, innovative, creative and a true force in the field who touched many lives.” Everson was married to fellow bodybuilding icon, Cory Everson-Donia. The couple divorced in 1996. Goldman said that Cory has also confirmed her former husband’s passing. Goldman added that despite their divorce, the couple remained close.
2. Everson Had Recently Been Complaining About Pain in His Legs & Feet
TMZ reports that Everson was found dead in his home in Los Angeles on February 25. The report says that there is no foul play and that officials are not investigating the death as a suicide. TMZ says Everson was found by his roommate, who is also his former fiancee. He had just returned to Los Angeles from a work-related trip. Sources told the site that Everson had recently been complaining about pains in his legs and feet.
3. Everson Said of His Former Wife, ‘I’m Attuned to a Woman Who’s Got Curves’
Everson was the founder of Planet Muscle magazine. He had a Ph.D. in physical education and met his future wife at the University of Wisconsin where he had been working as a strength coach. They were married in 1982. Everson told People Magazine in 1991 that he was mostly attracted to Cory’s body when they met. He said, “I’m attuned to a woman who’s got curves.” That article describes Cory as entering bodybuilding competitions at her husband’s behest. The couple moved from Wisconsin to Los Angeles in the early 1980s. That’s where Cory became Ms. Olympia in her first. In total, Cory would win six Ms. Olympia trophies during her competitive bodybuilding career.
For a time, Cory and Everson had a mail-order bodybuilding clothing line, Sampson & Delilah. According to a spokesman for their business, “These clothes will make you look like a bodybuilder, even if you’re not. After divorcing Everson, Cory went on to marry dentist Dr. Steve DOnia. The couple has two adopted children from Russia.
4. Cory Says That When She Was Diagnosed With Blood Clots, Everson ‘Camped’ at Her Side for Weeks
In 2008 interview, Cory told Iron Man Magazine about how when she was diagnosed with blood clots, Everson “camped” out at her side for weeks. Cory said, “When I was in the hospital, he camped out at my side for weeks. He kept telling me to focus on my internal strengths and mentally guide myself to heal. I believed in me mostly because he believed in me. As I recovered, I don’t think anyone was ever as proud of me as Jeff.” When asked about the impact her former husband had on her career, Cory said, “When I was in the hospital, he camped out at my side for weeks. He kept telling me to focus on my internal strengths and mentally guide myself to heal. I believed in me mostly because he believed in me. As I recovered, I don’t think anyone was ever as proud of me as Jeff.”
5. Everson Said 50 Percent of Revenues Made in the Weightlifting Supplement Industry Came From ‘Selling Horses***’
Everson railed against the supplement industry that came with bodybuilding. He wrote in an editorial, “Fifty percent of our supplement-industry revenues are earned selling horseshit — nothing less than outright hogwash. The whole industry is saturated with too much snake oil slithering down the toilet bowl… [but] if the magazines only printed workout information, they’d go out of business.”