A look at a young Harry Shafran who was known equally well for his physique as well as feats of strength. Early in his career, he was a partner of Professor Adrian Schmidt and was featured in Strength Magazine as well as Strength and Health Magazine. He ran a series of successful gyms in New York City but eventually grew tired of it and moved everything to a location near Scranton, Pennsylvania. He kept all his classic equipment in a large barn (including quite a few pieces he obtained from Warren Lincoln Travis).
Here’s Al Christensen, of the Bosco weightlifting club performing a pretty amazing feat: he could clean and jerk 230 pounds while on his knees. You won’t be seeing that one again any time soon. Al won the AAU Mr. Florida bodybuilding contest in 1951 and appeared on the cover of Strength and Health Magazine. His wife Vera was also a long-time columnist in Strength and Health.
The great weightlifter Art Levan on the cover of the March, 1934 issue of Strength and Health Magazine. This is one heck of an issue: Check out the lineup of strength authors: George Jowett, Earle E. Liederman, Harry Good, Bob Hoffman and Professor Paulinetti (among others.)
You might recognize him by his most famous movie role as the villain ‘Odd Job’ in the James Bond movie ‘Gold Finger”, but Harold Sakata was also a great Olympic weightlifter, sometimes-bodybuilder and professional wrestler. Sakata got his start reading Strength and Health Magazine and, as a teenager, won many local lifting contests on his native Hawaii. After a stint in the Army, Sakata had a chance to focus on his training and he set a Hawaiian record in the clean and jerk as well as won the Mr. Hawaii bodybuilding title. His weightlifting totals were such that he was able to compete in the Senior Nationals, where he finished second to Stan Stanczyk at the 1948 Senior Nationals. His finish at the Nationals qualified him for a spot at the 1948 Summer Olympics (above) where he finished second, winning the Silver Medal, again, to the eventual champion Stanczyk. The two would go on to become lifelong friends. After his weightlifting career, Sakata traveled the country as the pro-wrestler Tosh Togo.
Enrico Tomas, from New York City, is shown here on the January, 1955 issue of Strength and Health magazine. Enrico only competed in a few bodybuilding contests but never finished lower than third and in 1954, he took first both in the AAU Mr. New York State and the NABBA Mr. Universe.