Featured image: Donna Richardson-Joyner/Wikipedia
Photo by Robert Mapplethorpe
Born on August 25, 1939, in Montgomery, Alabama. Dickerson was the youngest of triplets. His parents were Henry and Mahala Dickerson.
His father was a former bellhop who became an executive at the Cleveland Trust Company and his mother was a lawyer and civil rights advocate for women and minorities. They divorced when Chris was young, and he was raised primarily by his mother.
In 1957, Dickerson graduated from Olney Friends high school in Barnesville, Ohio. He was an athlete playing soccer while in his High School years. During the 1960s, he did physique modeling.
His first bodybuilding competition was in 1965, where he received third place at the Mr. Long Beach competition. The following year in 1966 Dickerson won 2nd place Mr. North America, won Mr. New York State, Mr. Eastern America, Mr. Atlantic Coast, and 1st place Junior Mr. USA most muscular.
He continued to compete in various competitions throughout the 1967, 1968, and 1969. In 1970 he then won 1st place in the Universe competition. As he continued his journey in the 70’s. He turned pro in 1973 and won a total of 15 professional bodybuilding titles across four organizations.
By the way of 1980’s he won Mr. Olympia, and won Grand Prix in New York, Miami, 2nd place Louisiana, and won California. Placed 8th in 1990 Arnold Classic and 94 became overall 4th place Masters Olympia. Nicknamed “Diamond Calves,” he was the first Black man to win the Mr. America contest.
During his career he changed what an image of God could look like in bodybuilding. He stood about 5ft.-6in. tall and weighed right at about 190 pounds. His Mr. America win signified more than muscles.
It was expected to represent of an unbelievable image of the most perfect virile American person. Chris Dickerson later died from heart failure at the age of 82, December 23, 2021 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was a true bodybuilding legend.
Donna Richardson Joyner was born November 3, 1962, Silver Springs, Maryland. She graduated from Montgomery Blair High School, where she won homecoming queen as the first African American to be a part of the homecoming court.
Donna later graduated from Hollins University College with a degree in Health Education and Dance. She is an American fitness and aerobics instructor, author and ESPN television sports commentator.
Known for her series of fitness videos. Certified by AFAA and ACE as an International Fitness Expert, Richardson began her fitness career as an aerobics instructor, after responding to a challenge to take an aerobics class.
In 1992 she was hired as a co-host of the ESPN Fitness Pros Show, and costarred in her first commercial fitness tape called Platinum Buns of Steel. Throughout the 90’s she made several aerobic videos, like 1994 video “Perfect Balance Workout.”
1997 Richardson was a guest on a popular syndicated radio show and met with radio personality Tom Joyner. One year later in August of 1998 they became engaged. They then got married in Montego Bay, Jamaica in July 2000. Donna was named by Essence magazine for being “one out of 25 most inspiring women in America” in 2006.
She is also in the Guinness Book of World Records for creating and leading the world’s largest line dance, with over 50,000 participants at Megafest hosted by Bishop T. D. Jakes in Atlanta, Georgia. Richardson and Joyner later separated and devoice in 2012.
Donna Richardson is a bestselling author and an international motivational speaker. She is a renowned wellness and travel expert who has traveled to 50 states, 50 countries, and 6 continents helping people to become healthier mind, body and spirit.
She continues to spread the good news about health by empowering, educating, and energizing women and families. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, uncertainty and challenges, she steps out on faith taking a family recipe to retail that has been enjoyed by family and friends for over 25 years. Richardson and her mother both believe they can to enrich people’s connections through food for the soul.