From Lonnie Teper
“Sadly, the new year brought with it some depressing news…legend Ed Corney, called the greatest poser of all time by former IRON MAN Magazine Publisher John Balik, passed away this morning at 85. Sources have told me Corney suffered a brain aneurism late Christmas evening and hung on for another week before he couldn’t fight any longer.
Corney, one of the icons of the Golden Age of Bodybuilding, had a great physique but the conversation always turned to his posing talents whenever his name came up.
“Ed spoke to the audience like no other bodybuilder in my 50+ years of experience,” Balik said Monday night after hearing the news. “His charismatic presence electrified his audience. Ed projected love and everyone loved him back. RIP my friend!”
Corney appeared on the covered of the book “Pumping Iron” and on the posters for the movie, which enhanced his popularity even more. I remember getting a phone call from a close friend of Ed’s in 1999, I think it was, letting me know Ed had suffered a heart attack undergoing shoulder surgery, leading to two strokes (due to medication given to him for the heart attack)and time in a coma. But that wasn’t enough to keep this fella down for long. Every time I would see him at an event, he had that famous Corney smile, greeting his legions of fans and nary a word of sorrow about his unfortunate health issues.
Corney won titles at the IFBB MR. America, the IFBB Universe and the Masters Olympia 60+ on two occasions en route to the Bodybuilding Hall of Fame. I will always remember how courteous Ed was every time we would run into each other, complimenting me on my writing and emceeing, when he was the one deserving of all the accolades. Here I am, in the presence of one of the games greatest players, and he’s making me feel special. Special is a good word to describe Ed Corney, on and off a bodybuilding stage. Gone, but never, ever forgotten. Thank you for all that you did for the world of bodybuilding. Here are a couple of Balik photos showing the Master doing what he did best.”
RIP, my man!
Corney had won the IFBB Mr. America, IFBB Universe, IFBB Masters Olympia 60+ (twice) and is a member of the IFBB Hall of Fame.
In 1950, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and after serving in New York City, moved out to California. It was there that he met bodybuilder Millard Williamson, who encouraged him to begin weight training. At 160 pounds and at the age of 33, Corney entered and won his first contest in 1967, the Mr. Fremont, held in Northern California. His wins the following year included Mr. Heart of California, Mr. Northern California and Mr. Golden West.
He continued to climb the bodybuilding ladder with impressive wins at the 1970 Iron Man, the 1971 AAU Mr. California, the 1971 IFBB Mr. USA, the 1972 IFBB Mr. America and the 1972 IFBB Mr. Universe that was held in Baghdad, Iraq.
Corney achieved even broader public recognition as a result of his appearance in both the book and movie versions of Pumping Iron. He was pictured on the cover of the book and on the posters for the movie.
In 1994, Corney returned to competition. He won the 60+ division of the Masters Olympia in both 1994 and 1995, placed 11th overall in 1996 and took second in the 60+ division in 1997. He also competed in 1998 in the only Masters event ever to be held at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic.
Corney remained very active in the sport. In 1999, he suffered a heart attack while undergoing shoulder replacement surgery. A blood thinning medication that was given to him to treat the heart attack caused him to suffer two strokes. After a short period in a coma and some time using a wheelchair, Corney fought his way back to health. Corney died on January 1, 2019, at the age of 85.InfoGalactic