Lenda Murray was born on February 22, 1962 she is a champion female bodybuilder from the United States. She is an eight-time winner of the Ms. Olympia title, the highest achievement in professional female bodybuilding.
Murray was born in 1962 in Detroit, Michigan. At Henry Ford High School, Murray was both a record-holding sprinter and varsity cheerleader. She went on to attend Western Michigan University, earning a degree in political science. While at Western Michigan, she continued to cheerlead, and became the second African American to be chosen as the university’s homecoming queen in 1982 (Todd, 1999).
After a brief tenure cheerleading for the Michigan Panthers in the now-defunct United States Football League, Murray took to the bodybuilding stage in 1985. She rose quickly through the ranks, soon winning contests at the state and regional levels.
In 1989, she earned her professional status at the IFBB North American Championships. Murray soon became a regular presence in bodybuilding magazines and a favorite subject of photographer Bill Dobbins who focused extensively on her in his books The Women and Modern Amazons.
On November 24, 1990, Murray succeeded six-time champion Cory Everson to become Ms. Olympia, a title Murray would hold for most of the following decade. She appeared in such mass-market publications as Sports Illustrated, Ebony, Mademoiselle, and Vanity Fair, as well as in Annie Leibovitz’s photo essay Women. Murray’s physique became the standard against which professional female bodybuilders are now judged – an hourglass figure, with broad shoulders tapering into a V-shaped torso mirrored by a proportionally-developed lower body.
Murray lost the Ms. Olympia title to Kim Chizevsky in 1996, and went into retirement after finishing second to Chizevsky again in 1997. However, after four years of retirement she returned to the Ms. Olympia stage, and won two more Ms. Olympia titles in 2002 and 2003.
She finished second in the heavyweight class to Iris Kyle in 2004, and again retired from competition. Her eight titles ties her with Iris Kyle (2004,2006-2012), Lee Haney (Mr. Olympia 1984-1991), and Ronnie Coleman (Mr. Olympia 1998-2005) for the most Olympia bodybuilding titles.
Murray has done commentary for bodybuilding events on ESPN. Lenda Murray also has done many videos to help others in their pursuit of fitness. Murray was inducted into the 2010 IFBB Hall of Fame.
1985 NPC Michigan State – 4th
1985 NPC Eastern Michigan – 1st
1986 NPC Michigan – 3rd
1986 NPC Ironwoman Michigan – 3rd
1987 NPC Michigan – 3rd
1987 NPC North Coast – 2nd
1988 NPC Michigan – 1st
1989 NPC Junior Nationals – 1st (HW and Overall)
1989 IFBB North American Championships – 1st (HW and Overall)
1990 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
1991 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
1992 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
1993 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
1994 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
1995 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
1996 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 2nd
1997 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 2nd
2002 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st (HW and Overall)
2003 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st (HW and Overall)
2004 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 2nd (HW)