1982 Mr. Olympia Chris Dickerson Has Passed Away At 82

Chris Dickerson
Photos via Instagram @chrisdickerson1982

A true bodybuilding legend and veteran has passed away.

The 1982 Mr. Olympia champion, Chris Dickerson has reportedly passed away on Dec. 23, 2021, at the age of 82. Dickerson suffered a prior heart attack and was the sixth winner of bodybuilding’s Mr. Olympia title. His passing comes less than two months after the death of 2018 Mr. Olympia, Shawn Rhoden. News of Dickerson’s passing was confirmed to Generation Iron by close sources as shared across several notable Instagram accounts.

In August of 2019, Dickerson suffered a broken hip after a fall. While in the hospital, Dickerson had a heart attack and contracted COVID-19 while recovering. 

About Chris Dickerson

Chris Dickerson was one of the best bodybuilders of all-time and broke many barriers. He was the first openly gay professional bodybuilder and Olympia champion. Dickerson was also the first African-American winner of the Olympia and Mr. America competitions.

He was the sixth winner of the Olympia competition. The event began in 1965 when Larry Scott took home the title. In 17 years, there was a total of five winners — Scott, Sergio Oliva, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, and Frank Zane. After two second-place finishes in 1980 and 1981, Dickerson was able to win gold in 1982.

Chris Dickerson did not start competing until he was 27. In 1966, Dickerson won three of the four contests he entered. This jump started what would become a legendary career. Dickerson would go onto win the 1968 AAU Mr. USA and 1970 AAU Mr. America championships. He added the title during the 1973 and 1974 NABBA Mr. Universe competitions.

In 1979, Dickerson competed in his first IFBB Pro League competition. This was a victory during the Canada Pro Cup. Dickerson appeared in the Olympia that year and finished fourth — with Zane winning the title. He would go onto finish second to Schwarzenegger during the 1980 Olympia and Columbu during the 1981 competition.

Chris Dickerson saw great success in 1980 and 1981 when he won a total of nine shows with eight runner-up finishes. He did not compete following his Olympia title until 1984. This is when he returned to the Olympia stage and finished 11th. Dickerson’s final competition came in 1994 where he won the Over 50 division in the Masters Olympia.

Dickerson is the fifth Olympia champion to pass away. This is less than two months after 2018 Olympia champ Shawn Rhoden tragically passed away. Dickerson will be remembered as one of the best of all-time.

Chris Dickerson

Chris Dickerson Competition Titles Won

1966 – AAU Junior Mr. USA
1966 – AAU Junior Mr. USA (Most Muscular)
1966 – AAU Mr. Atlantic Coast
1966 – AAU Mr. New York State
1967 – AAU Mr. California
1968 – AAU Mr. USA
1970 – AAU Junior Mr. America
1970 – AAU Junior Mr. America (Most Muscular)
1970 – AAU Mr. America
1970 – AAU Mr. America (Most Muscular)
1970 – NABBA Mr. Universe (Short)
1971 – NABBA Mr. Universe (Short)
1973 – WBBG Pro Mr. America
1973 – NABBA Pro Mr. Universe
1974 – NABBA Pro Mr. Universe
1979 – IFBB Canada Pro Cup
1980 – IFBB Canada Pro Cup
1980 – IFBB Florida Pro Invitational
1980 – IFBB Grand Prix California
1980 – IFBB Grand Prix Miami
1980 – IFBB Grand Prix New York
1980 – IFBB Night of Champions
1981 – IFBB Grand Prix California
1981 – IFBB Grand Prix Louisiana
1981 – IFBB Grand Prix New York
1981 – IFBB Grand Prix Washington
1981 – IFBB Night of Champions
1982 – IFBB Mr. Olympia
1994 – IFBB Olympia Masters 50+

Generation Iron will provide more details on the cause of death. Generation Iron sends condolences to family and friends of Chris Dickerson during this difficult time.

Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation, NJ.com, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.