Vegan bodybuilder Jim Morris has died. He was 80 years old.
Morris’s incredible career began in 1954, during which time he won numerous titles, including Mr. America, Mr. USA, Mr. Universe, Mr. International, and several Hall of Fame entries.
The Brooklyn-born athlete and personal trainer proved it was never too late to make big changes: Morris became a vegetarian at 50 and went vegan at 65. He won Mr. Olympic masters at 61 — after he’d given up eating meat.
Morris made headlines throughout his career, breaking the color barrier in the then predominantly white sport of body building, as well as being openly gay. He turned heads again when he posed nude at age 77, showing off his sculpted physique à la Rodin’s The Thinker in a PETA ad (right).
He was also the subject of a short documentary by director Ryan Vance called Jim Morris: Lifelong Fitness.
“I am deeply saddened to share with you all the passing of Jim Morris,” posted Vance on the film’s Facebook page. “He will be sorely missed.
“Jim greatly appreciated all of your kind words about him over the past few years through this page, videos, and his website. I will soon be posting more about what Jim meant to me, feel free to do the same if you wish.”
According to reports, Morris died peacefully in his sleep at his Venice, Calif., home on Jan. 28.
Watch the short film Jim Morris: Life Fitness below: