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Bodybuilding Legend Ed Corney Passes

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Golden Era bodybuilding icon Ed Corney, best known for his role in the 1977 film Pumping Ironalongside a little-known bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger, passed away on Jan. 1, 2019, in San Jose, California. He was 85.

Corney got a relatively late start in bodybuilding, reportedly first picking up a weight at the age of 27, finally competing at 35 (some reports list his age as 33). At the time, he was the owner and bouncer at his club in San Jose. In his 30s, Corney claimed several of bodybuilding’s biggest titles, including Mr. Universe (1971 and 1972), as well as Mr. America (1972) and Mr. World (1973-74). He made a comeback in his 60s, twice winning the Masters Mr. Olympia (1994-95). Corney was inducted into the Bodybuilding Hall of Fame in 2004.

Upon his death, Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted: “Ed Corney was a jewel of a guy. He was one of the greatest posers bodybuilding has ever seen, and he was a fantastic training partner. He inspired me and I’ll miss him dearly. My thoughts are with his family.”

Corney gained fame when the documentary “Pumping Iron: The Art and Sport of Bodybuilding” was published by Charles Gaines and George Butler 1974. Corney’s solitary onstage image graced the cover of the first edition. The film version introduced to the world to Corney’s graceful and majestic posing.

In 1999 Corney suffered a heart attack while undergoing shoulder surgery. He later suffered two strokes that left him wheelchair-bound, but he battled back to regain his health. According to news reports, he suffered a brain aneurysm on Christmas Eve, a week before his passing.