Author Topic: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History  (Read 296884 times)

funk51

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Re: aau mister america aau thread.
« Reply #400 on: April 30, 2020, 12:27:00 PM »
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funk51

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Re: aau mister america aau thread.
« Reply #401 on: May 01, 2020, 06:58:04 AM »
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funk51

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Re: aau mister america aau thread.
« Reply #402 on: May 01, 2020, 06:59:12 AM »
compared to the 1965 ifbb version of mr a.   
&t=484s
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funk51

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Re: aau mister america aau thread.
« Reply #403 on: May 01, 2020, 06:59:55 AM »
&t=108s
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funk51

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Re: aau mister america aau thread.
« Reply #404 on: May 01, 2020, 07:00:56 AM »
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Bix

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Re: aau mister america aau thread.
« Reply #405 on: May 16, 2020, 04:42:44 PM »
Whats the story on Gruskin, why did he show so much interest in all these young men. Gay was he ?


    bob gruskin was a big influence on a lot of the east coast guys.

funk51

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Re: aau mister america aau thread.
« Reply #406 on: May 17, 2020, 11:59:28 AM »
Whats the story on Gruskin, why did he show so much interest in all these young men. Gay was he ?
                i never heard anything like that but who knows.                     
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funk51

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Re: aau mister america aau thread.
« Reply #407 on: May 17, 2020, 12:00:06 PM »
&t=436s
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funk51

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Re: aau mister america aau thread.
« Reply #408 on: May 17, 2020, 12:01:24 PM »
&t=249s
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njflex

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Re: aau mister america aau thread.
« Reply #409 on: May 18, 2020, 07:52:42 PM »
Awesome funk I have to watch partn2,I was at a gym that had aau jersey guys Casey kutchuryk would train occasionally and couple other really good bets and Gruskin name always came up and he came in once totally like described.

funk51

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Re: aau mister america aau thread.
« Reply #410 on: July 15, 2020, 11:24:56 AM »
Thanks funk, never saw first one
1938 Mr America - AAU



1     Bert Goodrich
2     Elmer Farnham
-     Bill Curtis
-     Gene Jantzen
-     Ted Keppler
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funk51

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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #411 on: July 15, 2020, 11:26:31 AM »
1939 Mr America - AAU



Overall Winner Roland Essmaker

Tall
1     Roland Essmaker

Medium
1     Herbert Marquart

Short
1     Tony Terlazzo
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funk51

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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #412 on: July 15, 2020, 11:27:14 AM »
1940 Mr America - AAU



1     John Grimek
2     Frank Leight
3     Ludwig Schusterich
4     Chick Deutch
5     John Gallagher (1)
6     George Lapausky
-     Dave Asnis
-     Monroe Brown
-     Jack Channing
-     Elmer Farnham
-     Carl Hempe
-     Gene Jantzen
-     Melvin Kahn
-     Terry Robinson
-     Tony Terlazzo
-     Joseph Thaler
-     Herman Weinsoff
-     Charles Whitlock

Most Muscular
1     John Grimek
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funk51

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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #413 on: July 15, 2020, 11:28:23 AM »
Strength & Health, Page 23, July 1940

"Mr. America" Contest
by Siegmund Klein
On Saturday evening, May 25th, America's most perfect group of amateur posers congregated at Madison Square Garden to vie with each other for the cherished title, "Mr. America."

It was indeed a spectacle to see our boys posing. They represented years of physlcal culture training, and showed the audience what they, too, could and would accomplish by practising bar bell training, for all of the competitors were bar bell men.

True, some did not have a chance, but they, too, should be congratulated, for they represented, from an audience's point of view, possibilities, they encouraged those who came to see this show, that all the competitors were not "born that way," as so many of the lay people believe our "studies in physical perfection" are.

It was thrilling to see so many fine physical specimens.

In the afternoon, there was a contest or the "Best Developed Arm," the "Best Developed Chest," the "Best Developed Abdominals" and the "Best Developed Back."

The audience had their favorites which was evident when one of them stepped forward. Waves of applause greeted them from all over the Garden.

Grimek won the Best Arm Development contest

Frank Leight, who entered as Frank Stepanek, won the Best Chest Development, and he has some chest; it is massive without being grotesque, it is deep and broad, and he showed it up to good advantage.

"Chick" Deutsch, won the Best Abdominals and it was quite an easy victory for him. Seldom have I seen such fine clear cut straight abdominaIs and external obliques as this young favorite ad popular athlete possesses.

Joseph Thaler won the best Back Development.

Everyone was wondering why John Grimek did not enter all the other contests save the Arm Development. Had he entered he could probably have won all save the Best Abdominals contest.

However, the audience were waiting for the evening show. This was spectacular. A special posing platform was erected for the poseurs to mount. Special spotlights glared from the ceiling of the Garden upon the athletes, and the only thing that was missing to give it a finishing touch was music.

Well, our old friend, John C. Grimek, won the title of "Mr. America."

Many people were remarking before the show that he would not enter, that he was afraid, that he was too short, that he was too muscular, and I do not know how many other things were said about him before the contest, besides, "he could not afford to lose . . ."

When the announcer, Mr, AI. Frazen, called out the name "John Grimek" next on the program, we could not hear what he had to say in the introduction, the applause was deafening, but we who know Grimek did not lave to hear about him, he was there, and there he was in all his glory. I have seen Grimek poses in pictures, I have seen him perform at many, oh, so many exhibitions, but this evening he was at his best. He looked to me like the reincarnation of Hercules, with the grace of Apollo. When he struck his first pose, well, he did not strike it, he just glided into it, he looked supreme. The pose reminded me of that fine picture of Grimek in Bob Hoffman's book, "Big Arms" opposite page 54. Wave after wave of applause greeted him. Many judges who have never seen J. C. G. before rubbed their eyes, they never saw such grace, such development, such magnificent physical majesty. He shifted into his second and third poses gracefully, and knew what he as doing. He had his poses all selected.

The audience imagined that it was a walk way and easy victory for him, little did they know what was going on in the judges' room, when the totals were added up.

Five points were given for muscular development, five points for proportions, three points for posing, two points for general appearance.

Fifteen points in all, and there were seven judges. The highest therefore that anyone contestant could possibly get would be 105 points.

Grimek won with 99 points. However, rank Stepanek ( Leight) came second with a total of 97 points. This was followed by Ludwig Schusterich with a total of 88 points. This was the young athlete who won the "Mr. New York" contest last winter in Brooklyn. Chick Deutch had the fourth highest number of points, just a notch below Schusterich. Others who figured quite high in the final compilation if points were John Galagher, Terry Robinson, Joe Thaler, Gene Jantzen, and Elmer Farnham. Every man of the approximately 60 entrants had fine physiques. It was unfortunate that all couId not receive some great reward for the splendid muscular development they had obtained as result of their physical endeavors, but only one could win the title Mr. America.

Frank Stepanek was the first to congratulate the winner. He told me afterwards that he was not one bit disappointed, in fact, he felt quite pleased that he came out second, particularly with so high a total. He mentioned in his modest way that had he won he would not believe it, for he thinks there is no one as I good as John Grimek and expressed his opinion that the other contestants as well as himself had a spot of nerve to even compete with weight lifters choice.

In addition to the title Mr. America, John Grimek won the title, "Most Muscular Man in America." These two great triumphs added to the medal he received for his splendid success in the lifting competition, his trophy for Best Arm Development, and his medal for his winning of the Mr. America title made five beautiful trophies in all which he could add to his ever growing collection.

There were seven judges to select the man who was entitled to the Mr. America title. These were: Bernarr McFadden, publisher of Physical Culture and other publications for many years, Col. Charles Dieges, prominent leader of amateur athletics in New York City, former wrestling champion, No.1 timer in national track and field competition, and AAU weight lifting chairman in the early years of official weight lifting competition. Col. KilpatrIck, famous former Yale University athlete, who is now president of the Madison Square Corp., Dan Parker, well known columnist of the New York Daily Mirror, Bob Hoffman and myself.

It may be telling tales out of school, but of these Bernarr McFadden listed John Grimek first with a perfect score of 15. Bob Hoffman had Grimek first with 14 3/4, Stephanek second with 14. I had Grimek first with 14. Stepanek second with 13. olonel Dieges and Colonel Kilpatrick both had Grimek first and Stepanek second. Evidently the two newspaper men voted for Frank (Leight) Stepanek, the New York policeman, for first place, which brought Frank well up in the final scoring.

I have had the pleasure of being interviewed by many people of the press regarding Grimek, they all wanted to know all about his training, his methods etc. ... of how he got that way. I believe that he is today, and will be for some time to come the greatest boon to weight lifting and body building with bar bells since the days of Eugene Sandow.

How does he compare with Sandow ? I do not know how Sandow looked in the flesh, having never seen him. But from photographs, I think that Sandow had the edge on Grimek from a sharper muscularity. Sandow had more abdominal development than Mr. America.

There still are hundreds of thousands of people that have never seen or heard of Grimek. If he would allow himself to be managed he could be just as famous as Sandow ever was. He is physically stronger. He has personality, and looks the part of a "Strong-Man" more so than anyone I have ever seen, and I have seen many of the world's best representatives of "Super Strength Stars."

If Grimek could be induced to go into the movies which has had offers, if he would give exhibitions for the theatrical public, he would boom the "strong-man" and physical culture business higher than any plane it has ever seen, particularly now that the world is so physical conscious. People are clamoring for something to do, physically. They do not know just what to do. They hear of golf, tennis, swimming, and kindred sports, but it does not give them what they want. If they saw Grimek they would at once want to know what he does and assure you he would inspire them to go in for bar bell training.

John Carol Grimek will have to get use to being called Mr. America. He should be proud of the title, and it will be a long time before he will be surpassed by any of the present crop of physical culturists.

However there is someone, maybe a youngster in his teens, maybe in the cradle, but this youngster will some day see Grimek in person or picture, and will be so thrilled and inspired that he will be the Furture Mr. America.

I am quite sure that most everyone was pleased with the outcome. I was. I know that Bob Hoffman was. I am sure that all the weightlifters were. May John C. Grimek, "Mr. America" enjoy a good long life, may he continue to inspire thousands and may he live up to the title that he deserves.
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funk51

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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #414 on: July 15, 2020, 11:29:19 AM »
Strength & Health, Page 23, August 1940

The 'Mr. America' Contest
By Siegmund Klein
Now that the "Mr. America" Contest is over, I think we should look over the salient points of the contestants and see if we as body-builders have learned anything to benefit us.

It seemed to me that many of the contestants could have trained much harder for this contest than they did. Many of them thought that if they put enough "make-up" ( oil, sun-tan powder) on, they would cover up their defects and bring out their better developed parts.

This may have worked but for the fact that all the contestants except Grimek and Stepanek used "make-up."

So they were all in the same spot, as though no "make-up" was used.

With very few exceptions, it was very apparent to me that those athletes that have good arms, abdominals, shoulders, worked very hard on those parts of their bodies to bring them out even more. This is, as I have often written, a failing of so many of us.

With very few exceptions, most of the contestants did not know how to pose. They got up on the platform and stood there "thinking up" a pose, when all of this should have been done weeks ago. They should have practiced their routines over and over again, so that they would feel at ease, and select poses that showed them up to their best advantages.

Many of them would get up there and start a pose and, like a flash, would change it, not knowing just what they were doing. This did not add to their credit one bit.

Some of the poseurs, to be sure, did a fine job. Monroe Brown, who knows how to pose besides having a fine body, looked very good. He selected some poses that we have seen of him in magazines from me to time. "Chick" Deutsch, who won the "Best Abdominal" Contest, knew how to take poses that showed his abominals up to the best advantage. Elmer Farnum, too, knew what he was doing. Gene Jantzen had some fine heroic poses. Frank Stepanek (Leight) did not look as muscular as he could have, and I assure you that he will never "take it easy" again. He is training harder than he ever has.

As for John Grimek, well, there is not much I can say to add to what I have written about him last month. He knew what he was doing and showed us what practice means. He did not flounder around up there.

I know that Grimek can take most I any pose. That is to his advantage. When an athlete is well proportioned and muscular he can strike most any pose and look good. That is the reason that Grimek always awes us in any pose that we see of him in the flesh or in pictures.

Taking the group as a whole, I would say that leg development was lacking in most them. Many could have had much better abdominals.

"Chick" Deutsch should certainly be very inspirational to many to develop abdominal and pectoral muscles. Frank Stepanek should be inspiration for chest Jospeh Thaler for shoulder (deltoid) and back.

Body builders should now check over their program of exercises and see what should be added or changed. Are you doing enough abdominal exercises? How about the leg exercises? Not one or two heavy "squats" but real muscle-building movements. I assure you that the athletes that looked the best up there spent a lot of time (repetitions) on building up heir musculature.

This contest should be a lesson to many body-builders. Train for all around development. Specialize only on those parts of the body that need the development to come up to the standard of the rest of your body.

It will help greatly if you have a mirror In your training quarters. Between exercises you can spend a bit of time studying your physique, take note of your strong points and see just where your development is lacking, and where the entire physique can be improved. Too many body builders make the mistake of selecting most of their exercises for the parts of the body which are already best developed instead of spending a major portion of their training time improving their weakest points.

Under no condition get discouraged. Remember that no matter how slow your progress may be, you would not have what you now possess if you did not train. We can't all be Grimeks, Leights, ad Deutsches, but we can all improve ourselves.
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funk51

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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #415 on: July 15, 2020, 12:11:06 PM »
1941 Mr America - AAU



1     John Grimek
2     Jules Bacon
3     Frank Leight
4     Robert Elwood Holbrook
5     Ludwig Schusterich
6     Terry Robinson
-     Paul Como
-     Paul Davis (1)
-     Roland Essmaker
-     Melvin Kahn
-     Constantine Kosiras
-     Tommy O'Hare
-     Joseph Peters
-     Steve Stern
-     Kimon Voyages
-     Elmer Witmer
-     Harold Woomer

Most Muscular
1     Ludwig Schusterich

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funk51

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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #416 on: July 15, 2020, 12:11:52 PM »
Strength & Health, Page 26, July 1941

"Mr. America 1941!"
by Siegmund Klein
This Year's Mr. America Contest was held May 24th, at the Arena, 45th and Market Sts., Philadelphia, in conjunction with the Senior National Weight Lifting Championships. While the number of contestants this year was not as great as last, Dave Asnis, winner of the best abdominals last year, and Joe Thaler, winner of best back, are in service. John Gallagher, working long hours in the shipyards, and many others absent for similar reasons, the very best were seen in action at the Arena. In many sections of the country preliminary contests had been held to select "Mr. New York City," Frank Leight this year. Ludwig Schusterich last Year, "Mr. Philadelphia." Jules Bacon, Constantine Kosiris who was also in this contest had tied for first in the preliminaries. Tom O'Hare, bearing the title "Mr. New Orleans," Robert Ellwood Holbrook from far off California and so many others of the best developed men in this nation.

The judges easily as representative as the contestants, were selected by the national "eight lifting committee. They were, ten in all: Art Gay, Physical Culture teacher of Rochester, N. Y., former strongest man in the navy and himself winner of best built man contests in the past. Emmet Faris of Cincinnati, the president of the Body Builders Club, and vice chairman of the national weight lifting committee, Jack Ayres of Wilmington, Del. in charge of physical education for the state of Delaware. John Fritshe, of Fritshe's gym, Philadelphia, long a leader in physical training, body building and weight lifter. Six of his own men were in the competition. Cy Bermudes of New Orleans Athletic Club, weight lifting leader in that southern city, Willie Clark, physical director Broadwood A. C., Philadelphia, former champion boxer, active wresting and boxing referee, and a famous sportsman, Perry Lewis, sports columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Jeff Keen, columnist Philadelphia Daily News. Bob Hoffman, editor of Strength and Health magazine, and the writer.

The basis of judging was as follows:

Muscular development   5 points
Muscular proportions   5 points
Posing   3 points
General Appearance   2 points
This makes a total of 15 points in all, and with ten judges a perfect score would be 150 points.

The contest started with a parade of the athletes who were entered. This served to give the judges a "line" on the men who were entered and see just how they compared with each other. Then all were given their opportunity to pose in turn. Three poses, 20 seconds each for front, back and optional poses. Practically every contestant was a very extraordinary physical specimen. Those who had entered in the past were improved after another year's training, and some sensational newcomers appeared. Notably Kimon Voyages, Ellwood Holbrook and Harold Woomer. On the grass covered platform, in the center of the stage, the bronzed and frequently oiled bodies of the contestants brought applause and cheers from the great crowd who were present. The winners of the various districts all seemed to have their enthusiastic supporters. Greatest applause was won by the men who were ultimately the place winners and the winners of special awards. One man who did not receive a prize but received exceptional applause each time he appeared was Constantine Kosiris.

When John Grimek, who had recently won the title "Mr. Middle Atlantic," and was the reigning "Mr. America," came running down the isle as his turn came, leaped upon the platform and immediately went into a beautiful back pose, the tumultuous applause he received was pretty good proof that once again he would be the winner, officially "Mr. America."

As usual at all contests there are varieties of opinion...that is why there are judges; in this contest such a generous number of judges. Then the majority can rule and the best men should emerge as the ultimate winners. Often the audience approves the judges' decisions and often not and the audience will not hesitate to let the judges know with the will-known Bronx cheer.

John Grimek received the great total of 146 points, an average of 14.65 per judge. Last year, Bernarr McFadden who had rated both Grimek and Schusterich with a perfect score of 15 points, was the only one to rate so high, there were a number of perfect scores for Grimek in this contest. John Grimek's victory, judging from the applause, was approved by all the spectators both when he posed and when he was awarded the huge Bob Hoffman trophy, emblematic of the title "Mr. America." John Grimek looked better than ever to this observer. His posing was magnificent, his muscularity unmatched, his proportions symmetrical, his appearance majestic. he really stood far out ahead of all the others. One thing was certain, the contestants themselves, or at least all of those to whom I have spoken, agreed that the judging on first place was right, in their opinions. This is very unusual in such a contest.

However there was quite a bit of controversial opinion as to the second place. The audience naturally applauded for the man they wanted to win. It seemed to me that the applause from the audience was about as even as the judging for second place. For this was indeed a close vote. Remember that Frank Leight Stepenek won the "Mr. New York City" Contest, February the 15th at Brooklyn. Jules Bacon of Fritshe's Gym won the "Mr. Philadelphia" contest May 17th. Here were the two winners in these great eastern cities vying for second place in the "Mr. America" contest. If I could express the other judges' opinion, I would say that they had two of the world's finest physical specimens before them, and it was very hard to choose between them. The contrast of their appearance made it even more difficult. Frank is taller, more bulky, evidently more powerful. Jules is dark, extremely muscular, thin skinned, and was in superb condition, much better than when the photo was taken a few months ago which appeared on the cover of this magazine. Frank had a magnificent chest, selected as the best in America, good legs. Jules was most notable for his abdominals but he was magnificently developed all over.

After the first draft of the judges these two men were tied for second place with 125 points. The judges had to vote again and once again they came out even. Five for Stepenek, five for Bacon. It was later suggested that the judges choose between these two men by using the point system as in the preliminary judging. They could give a maximum of 15 points to his choice or as few as he thought the other man deserved. Something must have gone wrong with my figures or some of the men did not vote for the second choice, for when I asked Bob Jones who was the announcer at this point, having relieved Bob Hoffman who had been at the microphone from early morning until the completion of the last lifting the championships, just what the points for each contestant were, he informed me that Jules Bacon had won second place with 71 points and Frank Leight Stepenek, third with 58.

At all such contests the element of surprise enters, and I believe the most surprised and pleased athlete in the contest was Elwood Holbrook, the Watsonville, Cal. boy, when he was gien the fourth award in this great contest. Elwood was the only contestant who had competed in the weight lifting prior to the judging in this contest, he also had won the national bent press title, in the annual show I staged in New York. This lad was good however. He had a very muscular, symmetrical physique. His poses were splendid and his appearance unusually fine. In fifth position was Ludwig Schusterich, the lad who won the "Mr. New York City" contest in 1940, when he was just 16 years of age. Ludwig was bigger and stronger, being of about the same size as John Grimek. He weighed over 190 pounds, was broad shouldered and powerful I am informed that he can perform twenty deep knee bends with 350 pounds. He was particularly handsome, red cheeks, wavy silky blond hair, deeply tanned, splendid carriage, a real young superman. Each year he improves and when and if John Grimek retires some time in the future from these competitions, undoubtedly Ludwig Schusterich will be a leading contender for the title.

Terry Robinson of Brookyln, this year greatly improved physically, somehow manages to win one of the places in all such competitions. To garner the sith place medal he had to outscore a great many exceptional contestants. Terry has the sort of physique most poepl like. Broad shouldered, slender waist, powerful, somewhat slender but shapely legs, blond curly hair, an expert poser. The six place winners were the cream of the crop.

There were a number of additional events to be decided, Best Abdominals, Best Chest, Most Muscualr Athlete. Most Muscular Back, Best Arms, and awards for the best developed policeman and the runner up, best developed fireman and the runner up. Bob Hoffman had donated all of these beautiful trophies, and they were beautiful. The "Mr. America" trophy towered three feet in height, with two American Eagles and a beautiful statue of a weight lifter snatching, a stature that Grimek had posed for in the past. The most muscular man trophy was also exceptionally fine with a pedestal, a huge globe, flanked by athleteic figures and a statue with a vitory wreath on top.

As the "Most Muscular Man" competition was next in imporatnce, I will describe this contest first. John Grimek had won the "Most Muscular Man" title last year, also the best arm, the only one of the four special contests he entered. So great is this unsual physique specimen that he should easily win all of the special awards except possibly Best Abdominals. John has fine abdominals, but he does not specialize upon them, and might be outscored by some of the thin skinned men such as Kahn who won, and Bacon who was a finalist in the division. Grimek wanted others to share the trophies so did not enter these competitions. Neighter did Frank Leight enter the Most Muscualr Man contest or he would have been hard to beat in the final scoring.

The judges called for the men they liked best to stand upon the platform. This selected company at first included Jules Bacon, Kimon Voyages, Paul Como, and Elwood Holbrook. As he was leaving the platform Bob Hoffman called Ludwig Schusterich back. The audience and the judges were more divided in the selection of the most muscular man than in any other division of the great contest. Kimon Voyages is big, powerful, possessing a herculean development; in one photo I saw afterward, some who saw insisted it was Grimek and only the closest scrutiny in this particular pose proved that it was not Grimek. Jules Bacon was sensational. Thin skinned as I have repeatedly said before, he showed more muscles than any other. If the prize was given for muscular definition he, closely followed by Elwood Holbrook, I believe would have been the victor. But bulk must be given consideration in selecting the most muscular man. I believe that Ludwig Schusterich was the strongest man in the group. He had a beautiful body, and although his muscular definition was not as great as some, his shoulders wre broad, his chest magnificent, his poses the best of the group, his waist slender, his legs splendid, and he was selected by the judges as the ultimate winner. I believe he was the most pleased young man in Philadelphia that night. After winning the great honor of being selected Mr. New York City in 1940, he was nosed out by Frank Leight this year. Although he was a finalist in all the special contests, he did not actually win one, and would not be blamed for being discouraged for he is much better now than when he was selected as "Mr. New York City." He said afterward that he really will train now and show the judges who voted for him, as well as the spectators who kindly gave him support, that he can and will become much better than he is at present.

Elwood Holbrook won the "Best Arms" and he certainly showed great development and separation when he posed with his triceps shown. He has a triceps that has a perfect horseshoe effect. His biceps, too, lumps up in a well developed and most unusual manner. The muscle builders in the audience were particularly enthusiastic when he struck this pose. It was nice to see a man win this title who not only had a fine looking arm, but also a powerful one, as proven by his victory in the bent press contest.

Melvin Kahn, the young man who first gained fame by winning the Best Developed Abdominals in the "Mr. New York City Contest" was selected as the winner in this national contest. He has extremely thin skin and this helped him no little when he contracted his abdominals. From an expert's viewpoint while they showed extreme chiselled effects, it was not so much from a development standpoint but from a lack of flesh on his body. Proper abdominal development shows abdominal muscularity by having a certain amount of depth, admonials that protrude due to their unusual development and muscularity. Jules Bacon was the closest contender in this event, in fact he was among the leaders in all the special events.

Johnny Davis was the best developed back contest. Johnny just stood with his arms at his sides and I was surprised that he won by taking the pose that he did. Whenever I seen John Davis, I ask him to show me his upper back development and when he flexes his muscles it is really something to see. You get a hint of this development if you remember his back pose which was on the cover of this magazine a few months ago. The judges were no doubt influenced by photos they had seen of Johnny in the past, for he was given the award almost with unanimous acclaim.

Frank Leight Stepenek won the best chest contest again this year. His closest rival was Joe Peters from Schenectday. Joe Peters has the greatest differential between chest and waist of any athlete in the world. 53 inch chest, 31 inch waist, so I am informed. He looked as broad as this barn door we hear about. His chest was beautifully developed throughout, but his smoothness of construction failed to show up as well as the marvelous Frank Leight chest development.

Frank Leight also won the Best Built Policeman award, while Steve Stern, who really is a powerful man, won the best built fireman award.

By this time it was well after midnight on what has been the greatest day in the world of strength and development. The crowd slowly wended its way out of the big Arena, talking enthusiastically of what they had seen, and now doubt promising each other that they would put greater emphasis on their own training and be more like these men.
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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #417 on: July 15, 2020, 12:12:35 PM »
1942 Mr America - AAU



1     Frank Leight
2     Dan Lurie
3     Ludwig Schusterich
4     Dave Marcus
5     Leonard Burton
6     Tony Armento
7     George Beegle
8     Jake Hitchens

Most Muscular
1     Dan Lurie
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funk51

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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #418 on: July 15, 2020, 12:13:38 PM »
Strength & Health, Page 25, July 1942

FRANK LEIGHT - "MR. AMERICA"
By The Editor [Bob Hoffman]
For more than a score of years Atlantic City has been famous for its beauty pageant, famous as the place where "Miss America" is crowned each year. Open only to amateurs, the Atlantic City "Miss America" contest has been the beginning of many a promising professional career. Beauty contests are held in principal cities throughout the United States, the fairest representative of that district is crowned and sent to Atlantic City. There a group of judges endeavor to select the most beautiful, and best formed American girl

Back in 1938 Johnny Hordines staged the first truly representative "Mr. America" contest at Amsterdam, New York. The first "Mr. America" contest was well staged. Proper lighting, a revolving platform, music, well built men from many states, famous figures in the strength world as judges, made this "Mr. America" contest one long to be remembered. As man after man stepped upon the platform, handsome, upstanding, powerfully built young men, the spectators were treated to thrill after thrill. What a wonderful lot of competitors there were, hard to choose one, many who did not even receive honorable mention would have been fitting subjects to wear the crown of "Mr. America."

Professionals were not barred in this first contest so Bert Goodrich, a famous all around athlete in his school days, for many years an understander in a herculean hand balancing act was chosen "Mr. America." Elmer Farhnam, of York, who had gone with the writer as a travelling companion, having no hope or expectation of being chosen "Mr. America," had the lowest number of points at the first count which, with the system of judgin in use would have made him Mr. America. Then old Adolph Rhein changed his vote and the title went to big Bert Goodrich with Elmer in second place. Only a few years have passed since that day, but Elmer is far away, a sergeant in the parachute corps. Adolph Rhein, one of the greatest old strength athletes of all time, nearing 80, is now a patient in a hospital and at the point of death.

But it was a beginning, one that is difficult to excell in quantity and quality of contestants, in judging, or staging of such an event.

In 1939 the A.A.U. (Amateur Athletic Union) became interested and as apart of the A.A.U senior national championships, the best built weight lifter was selected. To enter the contest a man was required to be a registered A.A.U. Athlete and expected to take part in the lifting competition. A number of men who trained with weights but who were not usually lifting competitors entered this event and one of these, a tall, handsome, broad shouldered, slender built chap, Ronald Essmaker, from Richmond, was selected as the winner. in this second event advertised as the "Mr. America" contest, winners in three weight classes were chosen, and then the final selection of the grand winner was made.

There was a great deal of dissatisfaction with the judging in this event, opinions differing greatly as to what type of man best deserved the title "Mr. America." Several ladies, artists and art teachers, a sculptor and the operator of a business man's gym, a man who had been a famous strength athlete in his youth, were the judges.

In 1940 at Madison Square Garden, the "Mr. America" contest for the first time played before a huge crowd numbering well up in the thousands, and received world wide publicity. 1940 was world fair year, and these dual events, the "Mr. America" contest and the world's fair brought a great many lovers of the masculine physique to New York. By this time a fair method of judging had been evolved. Seven points for muscular development, five for muscular proportions, and three for hair, skin, face, posture, and posing ability, making 15 in all, were used as the basis for judging.

There were some famous judges serving in this contest. Siegmund Klein, so well known to readers of this magazine, Bernarr McFadden, famous physical culturist and publisher, Col. Kilpatrick, President of Madison Square Garden and a famous athlete in his college days, well known columnist Dan Parker, Col. Dieges, former wrestling champion, former A.A.U. weight lifting chairman, and a leading A.A.U. official, the writer and enough others to make ten, were the judges.

John Grimek, whose admirers shook the solidly constructed Madison Square Garden when he appeared, was selected as "Mr. America," with Frank Leight, the New York policeman, as second. It was a great affair marred only by the fact that Dan Parker for long weeks after the contest was complaining about the judging. Noting that the writer and John Grimek both hailed from York, Pa. he immediately told the world that there was an Ethiopian in the woodpile, that I had been responsible for the selection of John Grimek as "Mr. America." Quite a task one would realize, for one man, myself, to outvote nine others. The truth of the matter was that all the judges except Dan Parker and one of his pals rated John Grimek first, Bernarr McFadden with 15 points, a hundred percent score, compared to the 14 3/4 at which I had rated him. It's all water of the dam now, but if the crowd did the selecting John Grimek would have been chosen by a margin so great that it would have been overwhelming, almost unanimous.

The "Mr. America" contest took another big step forward when it was staged at the Arena Sports Palace in Philadelphia in 1941, again as a part of the A.A.U. national weight lifting championships. The Madison Square Garden "Mr. America" contest was big, but this Philadelphia contest was more representative of the best in America than any previous contest. A great number of cities had chosen their best built man and sent him to Philadelpia to vie for the "Mr. America" title. There was Frank Leight, officially "Mr. New York City," Ludwig Schusterich, former "Mr. New York City," Jules Bacon, "Mr. Philadelphia," Tommy O'Hare, "Mr. New Orleans," Elwood Holbrook from far off California, with representatives from the south and middle west.

All conditions were excellent for the staging of this contest. Lighting was perfect, the man who was being judged stood high above the boxing ring in the center of the huge amphitheatre, and as they took their turn upon the pedestal many of them were Greek god like in appearance. Selections were mad to find the man who had the best built back, the best arm, best abdominals, best chest and most muscular physique. Elwood Holbrook, the bent press champion, won the best arm, Frank Leight best chest, John Davis best back, Melvin Kahn best abdominals, Ludwig Schusterich the most muscular title.

When the final decision of the ten judges was handed down it was found that John Grimek had again been selected "Mr. America," that he stood head and shoulders above the remainder of the competitors and had received the amazing score of 147 points out of a perfect 150. Hardly possible that a man could score so high, that any human could be considered to be so nearly perfect. But we were gazing at the man that many consider to be the best built of all time. Second in the scoring was Jules Bacon of Philadelphia and Frank Leight of New York City, both with a score of 125. To break the tie, both posed again and Jules Bacon was placed scond, with Frank Leight third.

In the first Mr. America contest at Amsterdam, N.Y. most of the judges were men prominent in the world of strength and development. Siegmund Klein, Joe Bonomo, Otto Arco, the writer, with a local newspaper writer and a high school art teacher. At Philadelphia where the national lifting championships and the "Mr. America" contest was staged by the Middle Atlantic district of the A.A.U., the district of which I am chairman, the ten judges were all men who had long been prominent in weight lifting and bodybuilding circles. Such men as Karo Whitfield from Atlanta Georgia, Emmet Faris from Cincinnati, Harry Paschall from Columbus, O., Siegmund Klein and Ray Van Cleef from New York City. It is to be expected that men who spend their lives as instructors or officials in weight lifting, the group from which the best built men are invariably selected, every leading competitor having trained with weights, would be the best judges of the masculine physique. Although the "Mr. America" contest is open to men of all types, and the earlier contests included a few swimmers, gymnasts, boxers, wrestlers and other athletes, they quickly learned that they did not compare in development with the weight lifters who made a specialty of training with weights to improve their health, strength and development. All the leaders in every official "Mr. America" contest have been men who trained regularly with weights and the progressive system.

This year the national weight lifting championships were staged at Cincinnati, Ohio, and as usual the "Mr. America" contest was held in conjunction with them. As compared to the 66 competitors who appeared at Philadelphia only 13 competed in this 1942 "Mr America" contest. So many of the best developed men are in the army or doing war work; difficulty of travel kept a great many excellent physical specimens, men who would have figured in the scoring, at home.

Conditions were the best that could be obtained although the lighting was not good, which detracted greatly from the appearance of the competitors and the muscle control men and posers who appeared, notably Siegmund Klein and John Grimek. There was no complaint about the judging, even from the spectators who often are keenly disappointed when their favorite is not placed as high as expected. There were four lady judges, girls who were intesely interested in athleteics and lifting, Miss Barbar Faris, Mis Ann Hewitt, Miss Katherine Dunnet and Miss Virginia Gray. Siegmund Klein, Fred Hofmeister, who conducts one of the finest body building studios in the middle west, a man who has developed outstanding lifters and body builders, himself one of the nation's best built men, served, as well as Harry Paschall, national weight lifting champion way back in 1925, a man who held the national record in the two hands snatch then at 194 in the 148 pound class, 15 years later established an Ohio state middleweight record of 230 pounds, known as the "Methuselah of weight lifting" the creator of Bosco, a man highly publicized back in the 20's for the excellence of his physique. And as usual, although endeavoring to be just a spectator first of all, and then the master of ceremonies next of all, the writer was influenced to be the eighth judge.

In the past, the judges marked their scores according to muscular development, muscular proportions, general appearance, which included posture, skin, hair and face, as well as posing ability, totalled their own scores which would range up to a perfect 15. The judges' decisions were collected, added up and as in the case of John Grimek last year with his 147 out of a possible 150, ten judges, 15 a perfect score for each judge. It was optional at previous "Mr. America" contest to contest for the special awards: best back, best arm, etc. A fraction of those entered in the "Mr. America" contest would enter the special contests, five or six of these would be chosen as finalists, all would pose together, the judges could see how the special points of one man compared to another and they could agree on the man with the best arm or best chest, etc.

At Cincinnati the score cards were marked for each man with a space allotted for the scoring in each special division, best arm, best chest, best back, best abdominals, best leg. There was a special award for the most muscular. 20 points or part thereof, was to be allotted for each of the five classes, these points were to be added up and the man who received the highest rating in all would be "Mr. America." It was not my thought that this was the best way to do it, but I was only one of the judges so the scoring went on as planned. I cited one case where a colored man who had the best arm, the most muscular body, as good a chest, back and abdominals as any, was gnome like or grotesque in general appearance. In individual parts few if any could excel Joe DiPoetro. This method of scoring had no consideration for symmetry, carriage, posing ability, general appearance, facial appearance or hair, all of which should be important considerations in selecting a "Mr. or Miss America." I wonder how the results of the judging of "Miss America" would have been if they were judged by best leg, best abdominals, best chest, etc. They made their selection from general appearances, selecting the girl who was most beautiful in face and body, who was most graceful and presented the best general appearance.

In past "Mr. America" contests the best men were grouped together and it was possible to compare one with another and make the final selection. It was suggested that it would be done this way at Cincinnati, but Mr.Wortmann, the A.A.U. chairman of the natinoal committee, ruled that the men would be seen one at a time, their score marked for each of their best points and then the addition of these points would determine who "Mr. America" was. All in all there could have been little complaint with the final standing the way it was done, but we believe that the method employed at Madison Square Garden and at the Arena in Philadelphia, is the best and fairest way and the most interesting from the standpoint of the spectators. Muscular proportions, muscular development, posture, posing ability, skin, hair and face, all should play a more important part in the selection of the ultimate winner than just he who as the best individual parts.

Frank Leight, the New York City policeman who was second in 1940 and third in 1941, was selected as "Mr. America." Frank is 34 years of age and long has possessed one of the best physiques in the world. Selected each year as the possessor of the best chest, he is a fitting man to wear the crown "Mr. America." He is taller than the average, has good posture, broad shoulders, fine arms, a powerful back, good abdominals, as he is holder of the world's record in the abdominal raise, and a fine pair of straight, well muscled legs. He is handsome in a manly sort of way, and although he always seems reluctant to display himself and to enter these contests, he does pose very well. He had his admirers in New York City and Philadelphia and in this contest with John Grimek being ruled out as a previous winner, he was easily the man who should have been selected to wear the 1942 "Mr. America" crown.

Nearly ten years ago, Frank's picture appeared on the cover of this magazine; a number of good pictures of him have graced our pages since that introduction. He has trained for these many years at Sieg Klein's gymnasium in New York City. Visitors to Klein's gym have watched Frank in his training. He's a star with heavy dumbells, one of his favorite movements being the alternate press with a 110 pound dumbell in each hand. He excels at the pull over, the abdominal raise, and does a bit of chinning and turning on a horizontal bar. He weighs over 200 pounds, and chinning and turning upon a bar, "skinning the cat" is responsible for at least some of his very excellent physique.

Getting along in years, a family man, with an admiring wife and a young family, with the irregular hours of work necessitated by being a New York City patrolman, he deserves especial credit for maintaining his interest for so many years, and for building a physique which this year was selected as America's best. He received a total of 69 points out of a possible 80. He had been given the award of best chest.

Before going on to a brief comment concerning other winners I'll mention the special award winners. Melvin Kahn of New York City as in 1940 and 1941 was given the ward of Best Abdominals. He had gained ten pounds, looked more muscular, and his abdominal development had improved with his added weight. He had won chiefly in the past due to his slender frame, thin skin, which accentuated his adominal development. Competition was not as keen in this division as usual. Men like Dave Asnis and Chick Deutch, who have really extraordinary abdominals, are in service.

The young star, Dan Lurie, of the Adonis A. C. in Brooklyn, who was very much in evidence throughout the entire evening, received the awards of best leg, best arm and most muscular development as well as third prize in the "Mr. America" judging. John Davis last year had entered only one of the special classes, and had received the ward of the best back. This year Lieutenant Bill Bush of the Cincinnati fire department received that award. From the very brief glance I had as the judges' slips were handed past me it seemed that four of the judges had voted for Bill Bush, three for Dan Lurie, and only myself for John Davis. Here in particular I wish that the finalists in best back had posed together so you could see the truly remarkable back of Johnny Davis. I am sure that this type of judging would have given him this special award as it did last year. Bill Bush is wonderful, so is Lurie, but John Davis is more than extraordinary. He much prefers to have a good physique to being world's weightlifting champion. I mentioned to many at Cincinnati as I repeat again, that he in my opinion had as good a physique as any of the men who were present at Cincinnati and were it not for the handicap of color, he might have been "Mr. America." What do you fellows who were there think ?

Dan Lurie was second in the junior "Mr. America" contest at Bristol, Conn. by just half a point. I think it was 67 to 66. This young chap, whose first picture I ever saw graces a full page in the "Big Chest Book," has a most remarkable development. A former national gymnastic champ, he has trained hard under the supervision of his friend and club member, Hyman Schaffer, and has rounded out his physique to the point where he won three of the six special awards in this contest and was second in best back, second in best abodminals, third in best chest. Rather short for a "Mr. America" he may grow, as he is just 18. From the body builder's standpoint he stood well above most of the competitors.

From the final scoring you can see that Dave Marcus, handsome, powerful, youthful Cincinnatian, the possessor of a most extra-ordinary pair of arms, a man who cleans and jerks over 300 pounds, was fourth. Leonard Burton of Batan Rouge, La., the winner of the title "Mr. New Orleans," was fifth. He is a handsome, curly haired, symmetrically proportioned young man who created a very fine impression at the championships. Tony Armento of Yacos Gym in Detroit, "Mr. Detroit," was sixth. He led by just one point over George Beegle now in the U. S. Marines, but formerly from Toledo, winner of the title "Mr. Toledo" and "Mr. Ohio."

Big Jake Hitchens, representing the York Bar Bell Club, was 8th with the same scoring as Beegle and just a point back of armento. Jake looked very impressive with his 18 inch arms and 50 inch chest.

This even is well liked by the crowd who attend these affairs and we hope that "Mr. America" contests will continue for years and years. It serves as an added incentive for the men who are not competitive lifters, yet like to enter contests and receive some sort of recognition for the physiques that they have won through regular training. And certainly it is inspiring to all who are present to see the sort of physique most of us could win if we would put forth the effort these men who competed in the "Mr. America" contest have expended over a period of months and year
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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #419 on: July 15, 2020, 12:14:29 PM »
1943 Mr America - AAU



1     Jules Bacon
2     Dan Lurie
3     Taylor Flanikan
4     Harry Benner
5     Robert Elwood Holbrook
6     Hilmer Dolan
7     Stan Fried
8     Orville Wertzbaugher

Most Muscular
1     Dan Lurie
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funk51

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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #420 on: July 15, 2020, 12:15:56 PM »
Strength & Health, Page 18, September 1943

Jules Bacon, "Mr. America" 1943
by Dick Bachtell
THE 1943 "Mr. America" contest was this year at the Los Angeles Y.M.C.A. under the personal direction of David A. Maltin of the Los Angeles Y. Held in conjunction with the Senior National A.A.U. weightlifting championships, it was a glorious spectacle, comparing favorably with the big "Mr. America" contest of past years. Twenty-two of America's best built men, hailing from a dozen states, vied for the honors in the 1943 "Mr. America" contest. After rather a close contest, Jules Bacon, of the York Barbell Club, was selected as the 1943 "Mr. America". Jules came as close to having everything as any man could; he is handsome in a manly sort of way, has think black hair, perfect teeth, a fine tan, a beautifully proportioned, exceptionally developed body, with more than his share of strength, good posing ability, and splendid carriage. Even among the great group of physical specimens gathered that day of June 27th at Los Angeles, he stood out sufficiently that anyone could easily see that he was the best of the contenders.

In years past various organizations and magazines set out to select the best built man for the particular year. Some of these men bore various titles. For instance, back in 1921, when Physical Culture magazine held a contest through photographs, Charles Atlas was selected as the "world's most handsome man" - not the world's best built man as he advertises, but the "world's most handsome man", judged solely by photos. Perhaps the fact that Atlas had been for some five years a model for Physical Culture magazine may have helped his selection. The next year, Physical Culture again staged a contest, this time in Madison Square Garden, to selected "America's Best Built Man". The contest was open to both amateurs and professionals, but the leading professionals feared to enter for only one could win and the others would hurt their reputations by losing. Competing with a group of complete unknowns, Charles Atlas was selexted as the best of those in the competition and give the title, "America's best developed man".

Strength magazine throughout the years of the middle twenties held an annual posing contest and the winner received considerable acclaim. Lurten Cunningham, later physical director at the Athens, Ga. Y.M.C.A., and a writer for this magazine, won the 1925 contest. Early in the 1930's Strength and Health magazine sought to hold a contest for both men and women to determine the best physical specimen of both sexes. The ladies division was well filled, and as the amateur rule was not in effect, beautiful New York City chorines were the victors. There was little competition in the men's division as the leading competitors once again feared to enter, although they were invited, including Charles Atlas. The contests were not representative so no claim of "Mr. America" titles was made, and the contests were discontinued.

And along came 1939. That year Johnny Hordines, of Schenectady, N.Y., sought to conduct a real "Mr. America" contest, using the same rules as were in effect in the "Miss America" contest held each year in Atlantic City. The contest took place in Amsterdam, N.Y. and was very beautiful. Lighting was good, music was used as the posing progressed, each contestant stood under the lights on a revolving platform, and had 20 seconds for each of several poses. There were men in action from various states. Gene Jantzen from California, Bill Curtis from Indiana, Bert Goodrich from Arizona, and many men from nearby states. When the judging was completed Elmer Farnham, who had gone along with Bob Hoffman for the ride, had the lowest number of points, which was the method of scoring in that contest. The judges listed the men they considered first, second, and third. It seemed that every judge of the six had his favorite for first place, but Elmer Farnham had received one vote for first place and five for second. After the first count, this gave Elmer the lowest score and he would have been the winner. But one of the judges was persuaded to change his vote. It made no difference to him anyway, as he was an old man, and was judging due to his reputation of the past, and this first, instead of the third place he had formerly given the ultimate winner, permitted him to have a one point lower score than Farnham.

Later that year, at the national weight-lifting championships in Chicago, a posing contest was staged to find the best built weight lifter in the nation. One of the rules was that men must be amateurs, that they must compete in the lifting that day, so the lifting dragged out tremendously because these men could not lift on an equal basis with the competing weight lifters. Roland Essmaker, of Richmond, Ind., was declared the winner. At that time he was tall and slender, and few considered him the best built man in action; only his height permitted him to outscore Tony Terlazzo, who was second. Later Roland greatly improved his physique and presented a very impressive appearance.

In 1940, the first real "Mr. America" contest was staged by the A.A.U. The championships that year were held in Madison Square Garden before a huge throng. The event, highly publicized by the New York newspapers and the news reels, was easily the feature of the two days of competition. Those who exerted themselves to win the title were posed on the platform in the center of Madison Square Garden and it was a magnificent affair. John Grimek won easily, in spite of the fact that some officials such as Dan Parker, New York columnist who had no previous experience in judging the well built masculine physique, and has been knocking weight lifting ever since, thought that a New Yorker should have won.

The next year a similar well-staged contest was held to determine the "Mr. America" of 1941. This contest was conducted at the Arena in Philadelphia under the auspices of the Middle Atlantic A.A.U. weightlifting committee, of which Bob Hoffman is chairman. There were ten judges, from over most of the nation, and John Grimek won again by a big margin. Frank Leight, officially selected as "Mr. New York City", had been second in 1940, and this year was outscored by Jules Bacon, officially "Mr. Philadelphia", who finished in second.

It was evident that John Grimek would go on winning year after year, so a rule was made that a man could win this title only once.

In 1942, a junior "Mr. America" contest was held at Bristol, Conn., and the senior "Mr. America" contest staged at Cincinnati, Ohio. Frank Leight, the New York policeman, was selected as the official "Mr. America", with Dan Lurie second in both the junior and the senior events. Jules Bacon did not compete in the 1942 contests.

This year, the national championships and the "Mr. America" contest were to be held in far-off California. Bob Hoffman sent five men to the championships. Tony Terlazzo was national A.A.U. champion for the 11th time, Johnny Terpak who won first in 1936 and every year since, his eighth, John Davis who finished second to Stanley Kratkoswki in the Nationals of 1938, later wining the world's title in Vienna the same year, won his fifth national title, while Jules Bacon annexed the "Mr. America" title (myself annexing my 10th title, my first win being in 1926). Five out of five. Johnny Grimek, who had pressed 285 in the nationals of 1940, who has scored totals of 850, as a light-heavy, could have easily won that title this year, had he made the trip. But back to the 1943 "Mr. America" contest.

On Sunday afternoon, at the Los Angeles Y.M.C.A., 22 of America's best built men were on hand to compete for the title, 1943 "Mr. America". Some of these men are well known to S. & H. readers: Al Berger, from Philadelphia, but now in the U.S. Army, a S. & H. cover man, who has posed for exercise articles in this magazine; Jules Bacon, of York, the ultimate winner; Dan Lurie of Brooklyn, a leading contender; Manuel Villegas, a Mexican school teacher of Redland, Cal., a man whom we met first when the York team staged a demonstration at March Field, Riverside, Cal.; R.E. Holbrook, representing the Oakland Y.M.C.A., one of the leading contenders in the "1941 Mr. America" contest, winner of the best developed arm and second for the most muscular title, national bent press champion, a man who had repeatedly bent pressed 270 pounds; Arturo Bianco, perhaps better known as Art White, a muscle control expert extra-ordinary who had appeared in most of the states of the union; Joe Di Pietro, of Paterson, N.J., the winner of the title in the 123 lifting class; Orville Wertzbaugher, holder of the west coast press record, and many times winner of the Pacific coast lifting title in his class; John Davis, who needs little introduction to S. & H. readers - he had won the best back in the 1941 and 1942 contests, the only division in which he competed; Stan Fried,now of the U.S. Army, but a member of Tanny's gym at Santa Monica; Taylor Flannikan, of Long Beach, who was to finish third, and Harry Benner of San Diego, who was placed in fourth place by the judges.

There were ten judges, most of whom are well known to readers: David A. Matlin, prominent Los Angeles attorney, member of the Los Angeles Y, who was the director of the entire meet, served as a judge; Al Treolar, great old string man and instructor of the Los Angeles Athletic Club, one of the nation's best in the 20's; Bert Goodrich, great all-around athlete, former champion of the University of Arizona, now a petty officer in the navy, formerly a professional hand balancer and winner of America's best built man title; Sam Weston, one of the Pacific coast's best middleweight lifters, a leading contender for the national two-arm press record, chairman of the A.A.U. California committee; Jere Kingbury, long prominent as a weightlifter and leader in California, former national champion; Bill Robusch, former national champion high jumper and pole vaulter when he was an athlete at University of Pittsburgh, later was Ohio weight lifting champ as he comes form Salem, O.; Gloria Gene and Penny Davidson, two movie stars who had more than their share of feminine pulchritude; D. K. Brigs and Arnold Eddy.

The judging was done as usual, 15 points were perfect, 5 for muscular development, 2 for posture, 5 for muscular proportions, 2 for posing and 1 for hair, skin and teeth. The big contest was held on Sunday, the 27th, the subdivisions on Saturday night. In spite of the unusual competition in the special divisions, Jules Bacon and Dan Luire finished first or second in each class. In best chest, Jules Bacon was awarded first place, Dan Lurie second, Stan Fried third, Florian Heintz and Harry Benner tied for fourth. In the best back Lurie was given the first award, Bacon second, Hilmer Dolan, of the Los Angeles Y, third, L. McDade, of the South Point Barbell club, fourth. Jules Bacon was selected as the possessor of the best legs. Jules squats with 425 pounds, so comes honestly by his fine lower limbs. Dan Lurie was selected second in this subdivision, with Robert Holbrook third and Villegas fourth. In best Arms , Lurie was given the award, Bacon second with Holbrook third.

Being a judge at one of these affairs is a difficult and thankless task. We should not quarrel with judges who are doing their very best, without remuneration of any sort. Both Bacon and Lurie have wonderful arms, but we wonder if Holbrook should not have won this award. He won the best developed arm at Philadelphia against very impressive competition. Few men in the nation have such arms as Holbrook. Aside from being a pretty good weight lifter on the three lifts he is one of the best bent pressers of his weight in all time. When members of our team were touring the nation, Holbrook made 225 at his home contest in Watsonville the first attempt and 250 his second. how he can press 250 any time "cold", with his clothes on, and seldom misses 270 in his second. he has an arm which bulges up in a manner which reminds one of the Otto Arco arm, the largest arm for the size of any man in history. Holbrook's arms are truly amazing, in fact he is one of the most muscular men in the world, considering his entire body. Al Berger, another great physical specimen, the man who made the highest back hand curl on record, 165, was forth in this class.

Jules Bacon was selected by the judges as the possessor of the best abdominals. Lurie again was second, Vic Harmon of Tanny's gym third, Wertzbaugher fourth. Bacon was easily the class of this subdivision; it seemed that there was little specialization in the west in abdominal development as there is in the east.

One of the greatest honors of the "Mr. America" contest is to win the "Most Muscular Man" title. Grimek won in 1940. he desired to give the other fellows a chance in 1941 so did not enter the subdivisions. he has everything and would have come pretty close to winning all the titles, in 1942. Dan Lurie won this title again this year. In Jules Bacon, whose every muscle stands out well moulded and clear cut, with Holbrook, is a strength athlete trained down fine, and Al Berger who is exceptionally physical, the winner was sure to be an outstanding specimen. The final scoring saw Lurie first, Bacon second, Berger third and Holbrook fourth.

In the big contest the next day, the scoring went as follows:

Jules Bacon   York Bar Bell Club   142
Dan Lurie   Brooklyn, N.Y.   137
Taylor Flankan   Long Beach   135
Harry Benner   San Diego   128
Robert Holbrook   Oakland, Cal   123
Hilmer Dolan   Los Angeles Y   112
Stan Fried   U.S. Army   112
Orville Wertzbaugher   L.B.Y. Los Angeles   110
S Griffiths   S.D. N.A.   110
Al Berger   U.S. Army   108
John B Habereiter   Tanny's Gym   101
Jules Bacon trailed Lurie by one point in the scoring for muscular proportions, 45 for Bacon, 46 for Luire. In the second division, muscular development, the judges gave Lurie a perfect score, ten times the perfect five for each judge or 50 in all. Bacon had 47 in this division and at this stage of the scoring lagged 4 points behind Lurie. But in posture Bacon made it all up. Lurie for years practiced gymnastics as well as weight lifting and like too many gymnasts walks around with his shoulders held forward. Bacon carries himself so well that he is the center of all eyes at a bathing beach and the judges deservedly gave him the perfect score of 20 for this class, with Lurie receiving 16. Jules went still farther ahead by receiving another perfect score of 20 for his posing. Although not the equal of John Grimek, the master of them all in displaying his physique, few photos do Jules justice, as he is good and undoubtedly was the best of those who were in the contest.

It has always been my thought in selecting a "Mr. America" that a man's hair, face, skin, teeth, etc., should count heavily. That a man was hardly deserving of the "Mr. America" title only on the strength of his physique. But Jules is handsome, has a smooth brown skin, perfect teeth, plentiful well-kept hair, etc., so here again he received the perfect score of 10 while Lurie, more rugged in appearance, not so handsome as some others, received 7 points.

Thus Jules Bacon received the selection as America's best physical specimen for 1943. A great honor and one that he richly deserves. Regular readers of this magazine who have read of Jules in the past will remember the hard knocks, the setbacks which beset his journey down the road to superstrength and development. Early in life he fell into a vat of boiling lard and carries many scars to show for this episode. Later in life he was accidentally show through the leg, still later he had his leg broken and suffered for a lengthy period with blood poison, the result of an accident, so that he was confined in bed for a full year with his leg in a plaster cast. It is this latter condition, a heel which refuses to heal entirely, which has kept Jules from succeeding in enlisting in the service the many times he tried. He is married, to the attractive blond girl who was pictured in this magazine in the story, "Jules Bacon Gets Married."

Now back home with all his trophies, he is unchanged, as unpretentious as ever, lives in a home next to Bob Hoffman, at Brookside Park. He is more ambitious than ever and even a hard day in the foundries does not deter him from taking his almost daily workout at the York Barbell Gym. He is assistant to Bob Hoffman, which takes in a lot of territory, as the activities of Bob are multitudinous.

Visitors to York will see Jules doing the work he loves, being identified with Strength and Health and the York Barbell Co., working hard with his hands rather than accepting offers such as he had to try out for the movies.

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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #421 on: July 15, 2020, 12:16:49 PM »
944 Mr America - AAU



1     Steve Stanko
2     Dan Lurie
3     Gene Jantzen
4     Marvin Urvant
-     Sam Azhderian
-     Harry Esman
-     James McIver
-     Kimon Voyages

Most Muscular
1     Dan Lurie
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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #422 on: July 15, 2020, 12:17:43 PM »
Strength & Health, Page 16, July 1944

"Mr. America 1944"
by Alan Carse
The 1944 Mr. America contest was held In conjunction with the national weight lifting championships, at beautiful Memorial Stadium, Chattanooga, Tenn., May 7th. This popular event had its inception in 1939. That year a big, highly publicized Mr. America contest was conducted at AmsterDam, N. Y. The best male physical specimens from widely scattered points entered, the winner being Bert Goodrich, the runner up Elmer Farnham. In Chicago, that year as a part of the National A. A. U. championships the best built weight lifter was selected. To compete it was essential that a man take part in the weightlifting events and the lifting of men of little strength and lifting skill who entered the lifting merely to qualify for the best developed weight lifter contest slowed up the championships. So in the years that have passed since, any amateur was eligible. Bert Goodrich was a professional and would not be eligible for competition in the Mr. America contest staged each year by the A. A. U. Roland Essmaker of Richmond, Ind. was the winner of this first A. A. U. contest in Chicago, Tony Terlazzo, the runner up. Essmaker at the time of winning the Chicago contest was tall, and not too well developed, but his type of physique met with the approval of the three lady art teachers, the little sculptor and the operator of a business man's gym who were serving as judges. To the eternal credit of Roland Essmaker, he continued to train, and developed one of the finest physiques in the world, a physique which would make him a leading competitor in any Mr. America contest.

The 1940 contest was held at Madison Square Garden and was the big feature of the weightlifting championships. Metropolitan newspapers carried columns before and after, and the Mr. America contest became an important event in American athletic circles. John Grimek was the winner of this 1940 contest (he did not enter in Chicago) winning the most muscular man title and some of the special awards. Grimek won gain at the Arena, Philadelphia, in 1941 but did not enter the special divisions, practically all of which he would have won, for here is no other man like John Grimek. He has the most amazing muscular development, knows how to display it, has fine proportions, and as it seemed that he would go on winning forever, a rule was made that a man could win just once. Jules Bacon was the runner up in 1941. Frank Leight, who had been second in 1940, finished in a tie with Jules and after additional posing Jules was given the second place trophy. The 1942 contest was held at Cincinnati, Ohio with Frank Leight winning the coveted title. Jules Bacon did not enter, and Dan Lurie was the second place man. That year at Bristol, Conn. in conjunction with the Junior national championships, a Junior Mr. America contest had been held, with Kimon Voyages the winner, Dan Lurie second.

In 1943 the Mr. Amemica contest took place at Los Angeles, Cal., Jules Bacon winning the title, and Lurie again being second. Jules was an exceptional Mr. America, possessing an unusual muscular development, thin skinned, he has muscles that spectators have never seen before, always willing to pose when requested as he did three times at Chattanooga this year.

In 1944, in Pittsburgh, the Junior Mr. America contest was staged by our hard working weight lifting leader, Wilbur Smith, with Steve Stanko winning the Junior title, Lurie second.

This gives you some idea of the background of this popular event. The special vents, Best Arm, Best Chest, Best Back, Best Developed Legs, Best Abdominals, were held in the afternoon at Chattanooga. This gave judges and spectators alike an opportunity to see all of the contestants on the stage at one time, to compare one with another, and to form some idea of who would in the Mr. America title.

In the past years there were ten judges, weightlifting leaders and body builders from over all the nation. This year owing to a shortage of qualified officials at both the Junior and Senior Mr. America contests, there were just five judges. At Chattanooga, the judges were: Ashley Black, Chattanooga, George Yacos, Detroit, Jim Messer, Bridgeport, Penna., Emmet Faris, Cincinnati, Ohio and Captain Karo Whitfield, whose home is in Atlanta. For long he had been the hardest working weight lifting leader in the South, the promoter of important lifting and best built man contests of the past.

A splendid bunch of young men appeared or the contest, and created a wonderful impression as they posed on the platform. More than half of them were service men and many had journeyed a great distance to take part in their favorite event. Among the leading competitors were Dan Lurie of Brooklyn, perennial runner up, Staff Sergeant Sam Azhderian, whose home is in San Pedro, Califoria, although he is stationed at Tucson, Ariz., Sgt. Kimon Voyages, of Randolph Field, Texas, a man who possesses one of the most Herculean developments in the nation. At the 1941 Mr. America contest in many poses he compared favorably with John Grimek. Lt. James McIver, also of Randolph Field, a man with limited training experience, but a handsome well built man, who will improve as he continues with his training. Steve Stanko, former world's strongest man, holder of the world's record in the two hands clean and jerk, a man who had struggled to the top in development after an injury and physical setback which would have discouraged any man not made of suci1 courageous fibre. James Richie of Frye Institute, Chattanooga, Tenn., a handsome, beautifully proportioned lad who was the physical ideal of many of the "Ohing" and "Awing" spectators, the ultimate winner of the Best Developed abdominals. He had a beautiful body, and with added development will be a leading competitor in future Mr. America contests. Cpl. Marvin Urvant, a Strength & Health cover man, from the Army Air Forces in Massachusetts. Powerfully constructed, beautifully proportioned, he had posed for the Air Force posters and it was certain that he would finish well up in the scoring.

Capt. Bill Bush of the Cincinnati fire department, who had been winner of the Best Built Man in Ohio contest, and had just won the national 181 pound title, a man of fine proportions and exceptional muscularity. Staff Sergeant Gene Jantzen, who is stationed at Lincoln, Nebraska, home in Illinois and California, leading competitor in past Mr. America contests, famous all around athlete, the man who in the opinion of many had the idea! physique. Broad shoulders, deep chest, exceptional latissimus dorsi muscles, splendid abdominal development, all supported with a pair of fine, straight, beautifully muscled legs. Henry Esman of the Hoffmeister Club, Indianapolis. Sgts. Al Lamkin and Tom Hanney of Nashville Barbell Club, Pvt. Ellwood Holbrook, stationed at Lincoln, Nebraska, home in Watsonville, California, winner of best developed arm division in past Mr. America contests, the nation's best bent presser of his weight, runner up in the 181 pound lifting championships, and as powerful, rugged looking a physical specimen as you could see in a day's travel. Corp. Irving Tepper, 513th Parachute Infantry, home in Brooklyn, N. Y., a little man, but beautifully built, and James Liban.

It was a pleasure to see these splendidly developed, clean cut, fine young Americans upon the platform. It was proof that barbell training has done so much to build the youth of our nation, to strengthen our fighting forces. Without exception, all of the competitors were barbell trained. For no other branch of athletics, no other system of exercise produces physical specimens which will compare favorably with the men who train with weights. At one time track and field men, wrestlers and football players, gymnasts, swimmers, baseball players appeared in Mr. America contests, but they suffered in comparison with the men who had moulded their bodies through weight training and weight lifting. Weight training was proven to be "the best way" and now all competitors are weight trained men.

The judges were in their places, the competitors were called one by one by Bob Hoffman, the master of ceremonies. The basis of judging was muscular development, muscular proportions, posture, posing ability, with some consideration given to a man's general appearance, his skin, hair and face. The competition in Best Arm was first, and Steve Stanko won this event with a vote of 4 to 1, he single vote going to Ellwood Holbrook. Steve has not only big arms, varying in size from 18 to 19 inches, but they are shapely and beautifully moulded. Stanko also won the Best Developed Chest, with the votes of the five officials, but Gene Jantzen, while receiving no first, was second in the opinion of the majority of the judges. Stanko also won the best back, but the decisions were much closer in this event, as he received two votes, of the five, with Voyages, Bill Bush and Jim Richie winning one vote each. It was evident that Steve was experiencing considerable pain from standing so long, especially after walking and pushing the car so much on the way down, so he withdrew here and did not compete in the other special divisions. Best abdominals were won by Jim Richie of Frye Institute, Chattanooga. He richly deserved this award, for he was young enough to be thin skinned, his abdommals were well developed and clear cut, and he knew how to demonstrate them in a superlative manner. Corp. Marvin Urvant received two of the five votes for best abdominals. He was well developed all over, and his powerful, all around development detracted somewhat from his abdominal development, but he had exceptional abdominal development nevertheless.

The Competition in Best Legs was keen, with Voyages winning the approval of three of the judges. Cpl. Urvant one vote and Dan Luire one vote.

While the judges were making their decisions, Jules Bacon, the 1943 Mr. America, offered a posing exhibition, which pleased and surprised the spectators. So many said that he was much better than he was at Los Angeles when he won his title.

After the lifting championships the big event of the program, the Mr. America contest took place. The same five officials served in the evening. It was hoped that Captain Bill Curry, who had won the Best Built Man in the South contest three years before would enter, but he sat throughout with his friend, former training mate, Capt. Karo Whitfield. Lt. Vernon Schwenke, of the armored forces, Fort Knox, Ky., at one time selected as Mr. Milwaukee, was expected to enter as he did in the juniors in Pittsburgh, but he did not come upon the platform. Small men suffer in comparison with a well developed bigger man; Vernon is small but mighty, and finely built. Tony Terlazzo had won many best developed awards in the past, is better this year than ever before, but he too did not enter.

When all had their opportunity to pose before the judges, the final decision was made after Jules Bacon had again complied with the desires of officials and spectators alike, by his exhibition of muscle control and muscle posing. In the opinion of the judges Mr. America was Steve Stanko. The ovation big Steve received as he was given the huge, beautiful trophy, emblematic of the Mr. America title, was tremendous. The presentation was made by his teammate, also of the York Barbell Club, the retiring Mr. America, Jules Bacon. As a matter of interest, in four years of the last five, the selected Mr. America has represented the York Barbell Club. Dan Luire was again the second place winner with Sergeant Gene Jantzen third, Cpl. Marvin Urvant fourth.

The competition in the most muscular man division was a bit surprising. Steve Stanko had won best arm, best back, best chest. In Pittsburgh he had won best legs too. He has fine abdominals, muscular and slender. One would think that when all these extraordinary muscle groups were combined into a big handsome, symmetrical body, that he would win the Most Muscular title. But Dan Lurie, who had received but one vote all afternoon in the five special divisions, was selected as the most muscular man. Dan certainly excels big Steve in muscle control, in posing, for Steve never practices in front of the mirror and only gave a halfhearted display when he was on the platform but he dwarfed all other men on the platform with his amazing development. Mr. Americas of the past, John Grimek, Frank Leight and Jules Bacon, have been the world's best. Big Steve is a fitting man to bear the coveted title Mr. America for this coming year. Having weighed 230 as a weight lifting champion, after his injury his weight sank to 176, he built himself up again, entirely through practicing sitting and lying down exercises. He made a display of intestinal fortitude that proves he is a real man, for few will know the pain he suffered during these years in bed andof training on the comback trail.

Another word before closing. When once a man has won the Mr. America title he is no longer eligible for the special competition of the Mr. America contest. A man does not like to be placed on the shelf because he has won once, the spectators like to see the best in action. Bob Hoffman has invited Frank Leight to go with us to Chattanooga, and to pay his expenses, but at the last minute, Frank, who is a New York policeman, could not make the trip. The special events should be open to any man in the country. This is only fair for those who do not win the big event, the Mr. America title, have been winning special event titles for years. Everyone should have a chance in these special divisions, both before and after they have won Mr America titles.
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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #423 on: October 09, 2020, 12:45:03 PM »
1945 Mr America - AAU



1     Clarence Ross
2     Harold Zinkin
3     Kenneth Graham
4     Elias Rodriguez
5     Phil Courtois
-     Cliff Byers
-     Perry Combs
-     Jack Delinger
-     Gene Jantzen
-     Joe Lauriano
-     Sam Loprinzi
-     Eric Pedersen
-     Leo Stern
-     Marvin Urvant
-     Kimon Voyages

Most Muscular
1     Clarence Ross
2     Sam Loprinzi
2     Kimon Voyages
4     Phil Courtois
4     Eric Pedersen
4     Elias Rodriguez

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funk51

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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #424 on: October 09, 2020, 12:46:33 PM »


National Lifting Championships and Mr America 1945
This fine report was sent us by Mr. Norman Fay of San Francisco. We know that our readers will appreciate our including a report of this popular event in this issue of "Iron Man". When additional paper will permit we intend to carry lifting reports in "Iron Man" regularly.
The National Weightlifting Championships were held in the Hollywood Legion Stadium, Sat and Sun, June 2 and 3 David Matlin was the director. As usual, the "Mr. America" contest was also held with this meet.

Saturday night the subdivisions of the Mr. America contest were held before a large crowd. The lifting took place then the Mr. America contest. I had one man entered in the contest, Rodriquez. He is small but has a perfect build When I saw them lined up I was amazed. Never before has mortal man gazed at such a display of wonderful manhood. The average height was about 5' 10" and many were over 6'. They all had the beautiful lines of greek statues I was sure that Rodriquez would get last place as all of them were taller and heavier built.

This night they were going to judge the best arms, chest, back, legs, abdominals and most muscular man. The best arms was first. Sam Loprinzi was first to come on. He has as fine a pair of arms as any man ever built 16" on a 5' 5" man. He received only 41 points as the judges were a little slow about giving out point at first. Eric Pedersen a 16 year old ran up a score of 44 with a super pair of arms. Cliff Byer came next with a winning score of 47 points. He has wonderful arms. Words can't describe the wonderful biceps and triceps that he shows. Clarence Ross made a score of 43.

The best chest came next. This was a tough one as one fellow had a chest that stuck out a foot and was round like a barrel. Clarence Ross won tho because he had a beautiful pair of pectorals and a fine deep rib box.

Joe Lauriano the "Jr. Mr. America" won the "Best Abdominals". Rodriquez won second place. His abdominals were sharper but Joe showed his better.

Ross won first in the most muscular man contest. All contestants used the same pose as is used by Rudy Gambacorta on page 19 of this issue of "Iron Man". Ross kept tensing up for about 15 seconds until I thought he would surely blow a fuse Sam. Loprinzi took second with 46 points. Kimon Voyages got 42. Rodriquez 41.

Best Legs was won by Kimon Voyages. He has huge legs and good shape. He does 5 sets of squats for each workout. Rodriquez was second and has without doubt the best shaped legs as you can see every muscle in them.

Best Back was won by Ross. He had fine arms and terrific separation along his spine. Ross won on total points Sat. night and Rodriquez was second. Right then I picked Ross for Mr. America to be chosen Sunday night and moved Rodriquez up to fifth place because of his showing against taller men.

Sunday afternoon after the lifting championships. Mr. Walter Baptiste gave a very fine show of muscle control. He has super muscles and a way with a field of 31 men. They were all marched on the platform good change of pace. [sic]

The Mr. America contest got under and introduced. The night before I told Sam it was too bad that he had to go on first as a test case or starter and so on this night he refused to go on first. Five mins. later he was disqualified but the crowd made such a furore that the judges let Sam back in but the judges decided that after such a show, Sam needed spanking. They did with a poor score of 92.

Rodriquez now went on and ran up a score of 102. I almost fainted. He did too. Then Clarence Ross went on and made the top score of 111 points. Others came and went with Harold Zinkin making 107 for second place and Ken Graham also making 102 and thus tying with Rodriquez for third. They gave 3rd place to Graham.

Clarence Ross is a very nice looking fellow -- modest and of fair hair and skin. He is 5' 10" tall and weighs 178 and has a very beautiful build. Everything is in the right place and has a thin skin with no flaws, all of which made him the most pleasing to the eye and that is how the judges pick them. There were many who had larger muscles but they did not have the eye appeal that Ross had.

I have not said much about the lifting but I must mention one thing. You will notice that there is no 123 lb. class given. This class was to start at the Legion Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Sat. There were two men in this class - Emerick Ishikawa and Joe DePietro, two of the best men in the world. However the officials of the American Legion heard that Ishikawa was a Jap born in Hawaii, and they would not let him lift in their Stadium or have anything to do in the meet. It looked bad until Johnny Terpak got the idea of letting Emerick lift in the afternoon at the L. A. YMCA. I was invited to watch the lifting along with a small handful of men. DePietro said he would lift in the 132 class as he wanted to lift at the Stadium. Muril Mitchel said he would lift with Emerick. After a short warm up Emerick started off in the press with 185 then 195 which was not good then again to succeed nicely. Muril made 140 in the snatch Emerick took 185 and then 195 and then a miss with 200. Muril made 140. In the clean and jerk Emerick made double bodyweight 245 very easy and then failed on 255 as he did not try very hard because of a lack of competition. Muril made 190. This gave Muril a nice total of 470. He only made one attempt on each lift as he was unprepared to lift for he didn't know he was to lift until the morning of the meet, Emerick totaled 635, one of the best totals ever made in the 123 lb. class. He lifts like Terlazzo in the press and like Terpak in the snatch and clean and jerk. Bachtell was too nervous in the 132 class and lost to powerful DePietro. Terlazzo did wonderful tho training injuries prevented him from proper training. Terpak had an easy victory tho Weeks made him work to stay ahead in the press. Weeks has great power but needs to change and work on his form. Zinkin with a wonderful build had it his own way in the 181 class. All three top men in the 181 class used the squat in the snatch and clean. The squat is here to stay. In the snach it is risky business but in the clean it is unbeatable. Have seldom seen a man miss a clean in the squat style. The heavyweights were all good at pressing. Fair in the snatch. Almost all tried 300 in the clean and jerk and had plenty of power but lacked good form.

NOTE- Mr. Fay starts a complete course in handbalancing in next issue. Don't miss it. He is also planning an article on "'How To Enter a Physique Contest".
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