Bodybuilders and fans alike were saddened to learn that Cedric McMillan passed away on April 12th at the age of 44. No cause of death had been revealed yet, but McMillan’s health issues had been well known for several months, and they have kept him from competing in several contests, including the 2021 and 2022 Arnold Classic. The 2017 Arnold Classic winner was also a proud member of the United States Army, and he served his country from his home state of South Carolina for several years.

While details of McMillan’s passing aren’t known, many members of the bodybuilding and fitness community have shared touching tributes in remembrance of one of the most popular bodybuilders in the sport for the last decade.

From Honorable Rob Wilkins, M&F Military Editor:

“So sorry to learn of the passing of United States Army veteran, Staff Sergeant Cedric McMillian, an amazing athlete, dedicated solider and family man.

While a private person, Cedric would do anything to support his soldiers. From giving them regulation haircuts, to sharing lessons in carpentry to standing by them during difficult times, Staff Sergeant McMillian, could be counted to provide the support and leadership so many young people need.

Ironically, this past weekend, I was in touch with Cedric and his wife, Patty, to set up an interview with Cedric to share his thoughts on the importance of physical fitness in the performance of his military duties.

My thoughts and prayers are with Patty and Cedric’s family and friends.

Thank you for your service, Cedric. You brought honor, dignity and pride to the uniform. Rest in peace, soldier.”

“Our entire family at the Arnold Sports Festival is heartbroken to learn of the passing of 2017 Arnold Classic Champion Cedric McMillan. Known for his larger than life personality, his infectious smile, a gentle heart, and a sense of humor that was loved by fellow competitors and fans alike, Cedric will be deeply missed. While Cedric’s competitive accomplishments, which included multiple professional wins alongside his 2017 Arnold Classic title, made him a star in the world of bodybuilding and fitness, the career he was most proud of was his 20+ years of selfless service to his country in the United States Army, where he achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class in July of 2021.

Above all, Cedric McMillan was a husband and a father, and we send our most heartfelt condolences to his family during this incredibly difficult time.” – Arnold Sports Festival

“I just want to say a couple things about Cedric. He was so talented, so important for us all and he didn’t even know it. He was so hard on himself, he didn’t know he was the leader in any group he walked with. He thought you had to win the big show to be the leader but he was without even trying. He always did it his way, always commanded respect, always brought everyone together as a team, his years in the military were evident that way. Even winning the Arnold he brought us altogether as if we had all won. Not a selfish bone in his body.” – Fouad Abiad

“Feeling uneasy with the news of your sudden departure from this dimension to the next. @cedricmcmillan was a father, a friend, a competitor, a man of uniform, a man of many hats who always knew how to make other people laugh and make everyone around him feel like family. This is how I will remember you, my brother. Rest In Peace Champ.” – Kai Greene

“I can’t believe it. To say that I’m shocked is an understatement… I’m blown away. Just over a month ago we spoke at length. If you told me it was going to be the last time we’d talk, I would have never believed you. Some people are such a way that you can’t help but smile as soon as you see their face or hear their voice. It’s not like that with many people but that’s how it was with Cedric. Cedric’s personality was enormous; he was kind, gentle and hilarious in equal parts. He competed at the highest level in our sport and will be remembered as a bodybuilding legend. Look at that photo of him; even someone completely removed from this sport can identify how impressive it is to achieve that physical form. But as someone who knew him I can tell you that HE was far more impressive than his physique. I can’t believe I’m writing this. RIP” – Evan Centopnai

“Cedric McMillan thank you for your service to our county and condolences to your family. ???????????????????????? It was a pleasure to watch you in the Winners Circle where you belonged in Germany & Romania years ago.????????Rest in Power Champion.???????? #RIP.” – Shawn Ray

We also extend our condolences to McMillan’s loved ones and supporters. We will share more details on this story as they develop.