Fast Facts

  • Both his parents were vaudeville and burlesque performers.
  • His first job was selling pralines on street corners in the French Quarter of New Orleans when he was 8 years old.
  • Took the name "Richard" after an uncle who paid for his college tuition.
  • Was an obese child, weighing 200 lbs in the eighth grade and 268 lbs when he graduated high school.
  • Considered becoming a priest before entering college to study art.
  • While living in Florence, Italy as an exchange student, he appeared in many television commercials including one where he played a dancing meatball.
  • Around the age of 20 he lost 149 lbs in two and a half months. His starvation diet landed him in the hospital and caused all his hair to fall out. The experience inspired him to learn about healthy dieting and exercise.
  • Owns 400 pairs of his trademark Dolfin brand shorts.
  • Collects art glass and dolls, and has over 400 dolls he displays on a rotating basis at his Hollywood Hills home.
  • His 65 fitness videos have sold over 20 million copies.
  • With the help of Congressmen Zach Wamp and Ron Kind, he introduced the Fit Kids Bill in favor of funding physical education in schools and has testified on its behalf.


  • Leonard Simmons Jr. — Brother
  • Shirley May Satin Simmons — Mother
  • Leonard Douglas Simmons Sr. — Father


  • Florida State University,Tallahassee, Florida, United States (BA in Art)

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  • Birth Name: Milton Teagle Simmons
  • Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • Profession: Weight loss, Fitness coach

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