Who was Jerry Ward? Legendary bodybuilder, 46, dies after complaining about pain in ribs

Who was Jerry Ward? Legendary bodybuilder, 46, dies after complaining about pain in ribs
Jerry Ward has died at the age of 46 (Instagram@jerrywardii)

Popular bodybuilder and NPC/IFBB judge Jerry Ward has died at the age of 46. In a recent post, bodybuilding promoter Gary Udit confirmed Ward died on Friday July 22, 2022, while the cause of death has yet to be made official. The bodybuilder leaves behind his beloved wife, Erin Merritt. 

In an Instagram post, Udit wrote “Sadly we lost a terrific friend today with the passing of Jerry Ward. Jerry died suddenly last night. He was here in Pittsburgh commentating on the Live Stream of the NPC Teen, Collegiate and Masters Nationals. In the NPC and IFBB PRO LEAGUE over the years Jerry was an excellent competitor, judge, expediter, head judge and PPV commentator. His knowledge of the sport of Bodybuilding was unparalleled.Jerry was liked and loved by everyone he came in contact with. We are devastated at his passing." Ward recently served as a commentator for Udit’s 2022 NPC Teen, Collegiate, and Masters National in Pittsburgh, PA. Hours before death, Ward even shared a video on his YouTube channel


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According to Rx Muscle’s Dave Palumbo, Ward was complaining to a friend that he thought he pulled a left rib. Palumbo said the suspected injury was caused after carrying luggage to where he was staying for the week while fulfilling his recent livestream duties. He added that Ward used a massage chair but thought the rib issue felt worse after. His friend Rich told him to get checked out by a physician, though Ward decided to sleep it off instead. After Rich texted Jerry reminding him to show up for the livestream duties on Saturday, promoter Gary Udit informed Rich that Ward had died. 


In an Instagram post, Palumbo said, "It’s with a very heavy heart that I say good-bye to a bodybuilding industry stalwart, @jerrywardii … he left us too young at 46 years old. I’ll miss his strong opinions and excellent insights on his #bios3training youtube channel…. as will the bodybuilding and fitness community. Check out my tribute to Jerry on the @official_rxmuscle youtube channel. Prayers and love to his family and friends during this difficult time."


In addition to leading a successful career as a bodybuilder, Ward received notoriety online, courtesy of his growing YouTube channel of 155,000 subscribers. As one of the more outspoken commentators in the sport, Ward always provided in-depth analysis and detailed observations. Revered for his ambition and work ethic, Jerry owned a successful supplement brand and personal training program called Bios3 Training. Following his career, Ward attracted a lot of attention for his adept online bodybuilding commentary. His shoot from the shoulder, honest and blunt nature made him the perfect commentator and ambassador for the sport.

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