Who is Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman? More about him

Sometimes, life gives you unexpected opportunities that could change your whole life. This remains true for Ronnie Coleman, who never considered body-building a career, is now one of the best bodybuilders in the world.

The eight-times consecutive Mr. Olympia winner, Ronnie Coleman, entered the world of bodybuilders for a free gym membership. That’s how he fell in love with body-building and left his stable job to pursue a career.

But, it wasn’t easy for Coleman to be a staple name in body-building. It took tons of hard work, patience, dedication, and perseverance to be at the place where he is.

Bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman
Bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman.

This article will uncover how a man who had never considered bodybuilder as a career became one of the best in the bodybuilding world.

But, first, let’s look at his quick facts before diving into the details.

Quick Facts

NameRonnie Coleman
Full Name Ronnie Dean Coleman
Nick NameThe King, The GOAT
BirthdateMay 13, 1964
Age58 years old
BirthplaceMonroe, Louisiana, U.S.
Star signTaurus
Body typeAthletic
Hair ColorBald
Eye colorDark Black
Height5’11” (180 cm)
Weight130–136 kg (Contest), 143–145 kg (Off-Season)
Body Measurements24 inch (Biceps), 36 inches (Waist), 36 inches (Thigh), 22 inches (Calves), 60 inches (Chest)
ParentsJessie Benton (Mother)
SiblingsAlain Lemieux (Brother),
Richard Lemieux (Brother)
Relationship statusMarried
WifeSusan Williamson
ChildrenJamilah Coleman (Daughter)
Valencia Daniel Coleman (Daughter)
SchoolBastrop High School
CollegeGrambling State University
Educational QualificationBSc in accounting
AchievementMr. Olympia (1998–2005)
Net Worth$2 Million
Social Media Twitter, Instagram
Net Worth$2 Million
Last UpdateNovember, 2022

Ronnie Coleman | Early life

On May 13, 1964, Ronnie Coleman was born to his mother, Jessie Benton, in Monroes, Louisiana. Apart from this, Coleman has two brothers: Alain Lemieux and Richard Lemieux.

There has not been much information regarding Coleman’s childhood and education. But, it is known that he had to struggle to meet his ends financially.

Coleman went to Bastrop High School and graduated with BSc in accounting from Grambling State University in 1984.

Along with his academics, the athlete was in the college football team GSU Tigers. He played as a middle linebacker under the coaching of Eddie Robinson.

Things got hard after his graduation as he failed to find a job relating to his major. So, he started doing part-time jobs such as Domino’s Pizza.

But, the pay was very low to sustain himself. So, he would eat the leftover pizza as he barely had the money to eat.

After knowing the part-time jobs weren’t enough for him, he started to look for jobs. But, unfortunately, his account degree was useless as he couldn’t find any job relating to it.

He then started to look for jobs out of his principal. He was ready to do any job he would get.

Fortunately, due to his fit athlete body, he got the job of the police officer in Arlington, Texas. He served as a police officer until 2003.

Body Building Career

How did Ronnie Coleman start body-building?

The body-building career of Ronnie Coleman started when amateur body Builder Brian Dobson offered him a free gym membership.

Brain Dobson wanted to train Coleman for the upcoming Mr. Texas bodybuilding competition. So he joined the gym free with the condition to participate in the contest.

Coleman won first place in the competition in both the heavyweight and overall category. He defeated Dobson himself.

Young Ronnie Coleman.
Young Ronnie Coleman.

After winning the competition, he competed for NPC championships in 1990. He placed third, which instead of demotivating him, made him more competitive.

Coleman started to take body-building more seriously and worked hard on his physique to become a professional bodybuilder.

You may also like reading Mariusz Pudzianowski Bio >> 

Professional Career

Coleman’s professional career began when he won the Canada Pro Cup in 1995. He won the competition next year as well.

Then, he went to compete in the National level competition Russian Grand Prix in 1999. He won the competition as well.

Coleman had his tiny steps to reach the top, and he is the epitome of not giving up. Coleman participated for the first time in the Mr. Olympia contest, the most famous contest in 1992.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t even ranked. But, it didn’t demotivate him as he applied the following year as well. It was 1994 when he was finally ranked 15th.

Then, He slowly moved forward by ranking 10th in 1995, 6th in 1996, and 9th in 1997. Finally, after his perseverance and dedication, Coleman won his first Mr. Olympia contest in 1998.

Ronnie Coleman won the Mr. Olympia title
Ronnie Coleman won the Mr. Olympia title.

He defeated Kenneth Wheeler in the competition to win that title. Afterward, The Olympia King protected his title until 2005. As a result, he won the title eight times a row.

But, as Kings have to give up their title at a certain point, the bodybuilder king gave up his title to three-time runner-up Jay Cutler in 2006.

Coleman appeared for the last time in Mr. Olympic in 2007, where he was placed 4th. He later retired from the sport.

Ronnie Coleman Surgeries

Ronnie Coleman had to go through multiple back surgeries and hip surgeries which ultimately ended his career as a bodybuilder.

Coleman’s condition worsened as he quickly started his training after the surgery without completely resting his body.

Apart from this, Coleman said that he had to go through many surgeries due to surgical errors. As a result, Coleman had to spend many of his hard-earned fortunes on the surgery.

The last three surgeries were botched medical surgery, which left him unable to walk unassisted.

But, when asked if he regrets that heavy training that has now jeopardized his life, Coleman says he doesn’t regret it for a moment. 

The heavy training made him one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, but he wishes he could have gone farther if not for the condition.

Ronnie Coleman | Filmography

Ronnie’s journey to becoming the international name in body-building is the result of hard work and perseverance. He is the inspiration to many others not to give up.

His inspiring life story has been made into a movie, namely Ronnie Coleman: The first Training Video. Mitsuru Okabe directed the film about his life as a police officer who later became a famous bodybuilder. 

Similarly, He was featured in Ronnie Coleman: The Unbelievable, which showed his intensive training and diets to prepare for body-building competitions.

The documentary released in 2001 was mainly about the struggles he had to face to become Mr. Olympia.

His life events were made into several movies. In 2003, Ronnie Coleman: The Cost of Redemption showed the Olympia campaign as his redemption.

Ronnie Coleman: Relentless, the 2006 documentary showed about his journey for Mr. Olympia 2006 contest. Also, He was featured in Ronnie Coleman: Invincible and Ronnie Coleman: The Last Training Video.

Most recently, the movie Ronnie Coleman: The King was released on Netflix in 2018. This documentary features his whole life story, from rising as an unemployed and poor person to becoming one of the world’s greatest athletes.

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Ronnie Coleman | Autobiography

Ronnie Coleman’s life is inspiring as he is a self-made athlete with perseverance and dedication. 

He has written several books on body-building and weight lifting. The most famous book of Ronnie Coleman is his Autobiography, Yeah Buddy! My Incredible Story.

The book is like his personal diary where he has written everything about his life, victories, defeats, most challenging time, and proud moments.

Thus, the book summarizes his entire life, starting from his birth, teenage, and adult life.

The book is one of the best-selling books of Coleman in 2019 and has been critically praised for writing the exact fact and not exaggerating the things. 

Along with autobiographies, Coleman has been featured in other books as well.

In 2007, Michael Berg wrote Hard Core: Ronnie Coleman’s Complete Guide to Weight Training. This is a complete guide to body-building.

Ronnie Coleman | Charity

Ronnie Coleman might have reached the mountain of success, but he knows his roots on where he had started from.

Likewise, Coleman faced extreme poverty and unemployment that he had barely anything to eat. He used to eat leftover pizzas at his workplace, and he knew what hunger was like.

So, when he established a foundation named Free the world from hunger. It is a charity that aims to fight the urge and lack of medicines and clean water in the world.

He has also joined hands with Noah and Perris for an NGO named Noah’s Arc Foundation, which helps children to build self-confidence through arts and sports.

Ronnie Coleman | Wife and Children

Ronnie Coleman married Rouaida Christine Achkar in 2007. Achkar was a personal trainer who was originally from Lebanon. The couple met at the Paris Sports exposition in 1998.

However, the marriage didn’t turn out well, and they decided to part ways. The couple had two daughters.

Ronnie Coleman with his current wife, Susan Williams.
Ronnie Coleman with his current wife, Susan Williams.

After the first marriage failure, Coleman remained single for a long until he met Susan Williams. She was also a personal trainer, and they married each other on April 11, 2016.

The couple is happily married and is blessed with four children.

Ronnie Coleman | Net Worth

The estimated net worth of Ronnie Coleman is around $2 million. He has earned the net worth from his career as a bodybuilder.

Apart from this, he earns handsome money from endorsements, investments, and royalty from books and movies.

For a more detailed dissection of his net worth, check out this article >>

Ronnie Coleman | Social Media Presence

Ronnie Coleman has a huge fan following on his social media. His Instagram account has more than 4 million followers. 

You can follow Ronnie Coleman on following social media to get updated about his personal life.

Instagram: 4 million Followers

Twitter: 248K Followers


Is Ronnie Coleman paralyzed?

No, Ronnie was almost paralyzed as he had around 13 spine surgeries. But his last three surgeries left him crippled as he cannot walk without assistance. He can move but requires assistance.

How long was Ronnie Coleman a cop?

Ronnie Coleman was a cop for 11 years. He started his job as a police officer in 1989 until 2000. Then, He left his job as a cop to become a full-time professional bodybuilder.

What are some of his famous workout catchphrases?

Ronnie Coleman is known for his legendary catchphrase, Yeah Buddy. Other than that, his slogans Ain’t nothin’ but a peanut!,” “Lightweight! are famous.

How much does Ronnie Coleman eat per day?

Ronnie Coleman eats 5332 calories/546 grams of protein per day. His diet would consist of 65% protein, 20-25% carbs, and 5-10% fat.

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