George Eiferman, ’48 Mr. America and ’62 Mr. Universe is shown here in his natural environment: the sands of Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, California. Needless to say he was famous for his chest development.
The first ever AAU Mr. America was Bert Goodrich, shown here on an early cover of Iron Man Magazine. Bert got his start by training with Earle E. Liederman’s courses and was a tremendous athlete in high school, excelling in hand balancing, swimming, and track and field events. He went on to became a stuntman in several Hollywood Movies and later opened up his own gym.
Jim Haislop, the popular bodybuilder from Tampa, Florida, shows the foundation of his development: squats. Haislop had quite a career, winning Mr. Florida in 1965, Mr. North America in 1966, Mr. Northern States and Mr. USA in 1967, Mr. America and Junior Mr. America in 1968 and took first in his class at the 1969 NABBA Mr. Universe contest.
Here’s John Grimek showing his winning form and hardware after taking first in the 1948 Mr. Universe contest (defeating Steve Reeves in the process!) Most bodybuilders are lucky to win one contest in their careers but Grimek finished first in EVERY contest he ever entered. Here’s a look at the full list:
1939 – York Perfect Man
1940 – AAU Mr. America
1941 – AAU Mr. America
1946 – Most Muscular Man in America
1948 – NABBA – Mr. Universe
1949 – Mr. USA
After winning the AAU Mr. America contest for the second year in a row, they passed a rule that one could not enter it again once they won – the powers that be figured that if they didn’t take this step, Grimek would just keep on winning them.
Frank Leight, AAU Mr. America 1942, is shown here with some classic globe barbells and kettlebells on the cover of the July, 1942 issue of Strength and Health Magazine. Frank Leight finished 2nd in 1940 (losing to John Grimek and 3rd in 1941 (again behind Grimek, and Jules Bacon) before finally winning the Mr. America contest himself in 1942.
It’s not hard to see why Steve Reeves was known as THE Classic Physique – just take a look. During his career Reeves won nearly every contest he entered, including: the 1947 AAU Mr. America, Mr. Pacific Coast and Mr. Western America Contests, the 1948 Mr. World contest, and the 1950 NABBA Mr. Universe contest. Reeves was well-known for his broad shoulders which were measured by Armand Tanny at an unbelievable 23-1/2 inches!