• Lee Haney is an African-American professional bodybuilder, author, entrepreneur and TV personality
• He holds the world record of eight Mr. Olympia titles
• He has written several books related to training and building muscle mass
• He created a non-profit retreat for boys aged 8 to 17 in Atlanta, Georgia
• His net worth is estimated to be over $5.5 million in 2019.

Who is Lee Haney?

Born under the sign of Scorpio on the 11th of November 1959, in Fairburn, Georgia USA, of Christian beliefs, Lee Haney is an African-American professional bodybuilder, author, entrepreneur and TV personality. He’s undoubtedly best known to the world for winning the Mr. Olympia title eight times – a world record that he holds alongside his colleague Ronnie Coleman. He’s also had several other successes over the course of his sometimes lucrative body-building career since the 1980s.

Early Life and Education: Growing up in Georgia

Lee Haney was raised apparently an only child – initially in his birth state, though his family later moved to Spartanburg in South Carolina – by his father and mother of thus-far unknown names and professions.

Lee seems to have been born to do what he does, since he became obsessed with powerful physiques even before the age of 10. By his 12th year Lee already had his room walls featuring various body-building posters and other men’s magazine cutouts.

As a Christian, he revered the Old Testament strongman Samson, and Hercules from Greek Mythology. His idol was ‘Black Prince’ Robby Robinson at the time, giving Lee an ideal body image to aspire towards. His parents bought him his first set of weights at the said age, which also contained a training guide, providing a much better grasp on proper muscle development. He began following it to the letter, gradually bolstering his strength in his early teen years.

At the age of 14 he was the most developed child in his age group, thus received invitations to various sports teams in an unspecified South Carolina high school, from where he matriculated in 1977. He enrolled into Spartanburg Methodist College after that, and graduated with a youth counseling degree in 1981.

His career: From supermarkets to legends

Haney shot for the stars as soon as possible, joining his local Young Men’s Christian Association while in high school, where he met body-building trainer Danny Rogers, who noticed the teen’s early shape, stating ‘Kid, you have one of the most balanced physiques I have ever seen. Bodybuilding is your ticket. You can be one of the greatest body-builders in the world if you put your mind to it.’ Lee was 16 upon entering the 1976 Mr. South Carolina show – his first bodybuilding contest.

Lee Haney

He was at the time unsure how to properly present himself, arriving in supermarket underwear. Though not managing a spot among the finalists, Haney cherished his first participation, as it helped him make the final decision about his future goals. He was ready to try again after another four years of extreme training routines, and so entered the 1979 Teen Mr. America contest, in which he claimed first place. In 1982 he won yet again, in the heavyweight division of the World Amateur Championship, and the Junior National contest. Two years later he set a new body-building standard, by winning his first Mr. Olympia contest at the age of 25.

Becoming a superstar

Having established himself as one of the most envied bodybuilders of all time, Lee made it his focus to win every other Mr. Olympia title that he tried for.

He accomplished this over the next seven years, setting the record for eight Mr. Olympia titles in a row, which is a feat subsequently secured only by one other bodybuilder – Ronnie Coleman in 2005. Besides placing first in Grand Prix Germany (II) in 1987, the mentioned titles complete the list of his achievements until 1991. He continued his training schedule afterwards, but did not enter any competitions until he retired from the sport in 1994.

Three years later he created and began hosting the show entitled “TotaLee Fit: with Lee Haney” on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, in which he and other sportsmen, often of Christian beliefs, educate the audience about the importance of physical and spiritual fitness and development.

His wife can sometimes be seen as a guest as well. One of his most frequent sayings on-air is ‘Train to stimulate, not annihilate.’ In 2024, this show is the only on-going contribution to his net worth.

Other business ventures

Lee put his training expertise to use over the years not just in bodybuilding, but also as an author and entrepreneur. He’s written several books related to training and building muscle mass, the most popular of which bears the title of “TotaLee Awesome: A Complete Guide to Bodybuilding Success”. He also has his own supplement product line – “Transformation Now” – featuring the ingredients he personally ingested on a daily basis during his bodybuilding career. Both of these business undertakings have undoubtedly contributed to his wealth over the years.

Inspired by YMCA

Likely due to the encouragement he himself experienced during his time at the local Young Men’s Christian Association, Haney created a non-profit retreat for boys aged 8 to 17 in Atlanta, Georgia, named “Haney Harvest House”, offering an 8-week summer camp experience on a 40-acre farm, with lush nature and a petting zoo. The place was established and opened in 1994, and operates to the present-day. Lee was subsequently appointed chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports by its current and former US President Bill Clinton, which is a position owed to his highly motivational and positive influence on American youth.

Love life: Does he have a family?

When it comes to Lee Haney’s romantic involvements, reputable sources remain unclear on whether he had partners prior to his wife, whose name is Shirley Haney (nee Draper). They are believed to have dated for a few years prior to marrying in a private ceremony on a thus-far unspecified date. They have two children together, though almost nothing is known about either of them, as their parents weren’t keen on disclosing such information. The family lives happily together near the aforementioned children’s summer retreat. There has been no controversy surrounding their union, and the two can often be seen posing together at various events.

Lee’s recognition

Besides being world-famous for his bodybuilding records and positive global impact, Haney was officially commended several times for his achievements as a sportsman and fitness professional.

To honor his lifelong effort, officials inducted Lee into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2011, while in 2014 he was inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame. Along with 22 other prizes won through bodybuilding, Lee possesses an undeniably impressive trophy wall.

He’s still in the body business

Though retired for many years at this point, Lee maintains a presence in bodybuilding by hosting events and co-operating with active sportsmen. He personally trained outfielder Gary Sheffield, while boxer Evander Holyfield hired Lee to create optimal training programs, which facilitated his preparations for defending his heavyweight boxing title. More importantly, 2019 can be considered somewhat of a returning year for the former champion, since he personally hosted Lee Haney Games on the 2nd of November – a bodybuilding contest meant for both men and women.

Lee Haney

The contest was held at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center in Georgia, featuring events such as bikini, fitness, women’s physique, figure, men’s bodybuilding, men’s physique and classic physique. An important detail regarding this happening is that Lee originally came up with it because he needed a fundraising source for the teenage retreat.

Piety of Goliath

As specified, Lee is of Christian beliefs, and in fact quite the worshipper. He tends to post various psalms from “The Bible” on occasion, in between pictures with his wife and public invitations to the gatherings he’ll be attending. One such post is of the psalm 103:1-5, relating to forgiveness, redemption and healing.

His book announcements

Lee sometimes uses his social media accounts to promote his upcoming works, which gives the audience a pretty good idea of how his bibliography evolved in quantity and quality.

On the 28th of December 2018, Lee published another book about fitness, entitled “Fit at Any Age: Exercise to Stimulate not Annihilate”.

What is Lee Haney’s net worth?

Have you ever taken a moment to consider just how rich Lee Haney could be, around the middle of 2024? According to estimations by various esteemed sources, Lee’s net worth is somewhere over $5.5 million right now. He made this fortune by utilizing his fitness expertise to bolster his appearance and chances at winning the Mr. Olympia title. Seeing as he is still active in body-building, even though his career ended in 1994, the said amount might be expected to grow.

Body measurements

When it comes to Lee’s physical specifications, they are some of the most important contributors of his career, hence why they are all well-known. He is 5ft 11.5ins (181.6cm) tall and weighs 260lbs (118kgs).

His chest size is 56ins (142cm), neck 20ins (51cm), biceps 21ins (53cm), waist 31.5ins (80cm), thigh size 30ins (76.2cm) and his calf size is 20ins (50.8cm) – his body shape is generally described as extremely muscular. He has black hair, dark brown eyes and a very dim complexion.

Social media presence

Being the sports superstar that he is, Lee is expected by his numerous fans to nourish a close relationship with them through social media profiles. Since Haney is also a businessman, he understands the significance of having a wide reach to the audience, and thus has a profile on all three most popular social media networks – Twitter, Instagram, and his Facebook page has over 2,000 fans.

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As a Freelance Writer at Biography Pedia, I oversee the full writing process, from in-depth research to the development of compelling narratives, ensuring accuracy and excellence in our output. Our goal is to produce insightful profiles that deeply explore the lives of prominent figures in business, entertainment, and other fields. Through meticulous research and engaging storytelling, we spotlight the significant journeys and achievements of individuals who captivate and inspire our readers.

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