Author Topic: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History  (Read 312240 times)


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #425 on: October 09, 2020, 12:47:34 PM »
1946 Mr America - AAU

1     Alan Stephan
2     Sam Loprinzi
3     Leo Stern
4     Joe Lauriano
5     John Farbotnik
6     Abe Goldberg
7     Victor Nicoletti
8     Kimon Voyages
9     Everett Sinderoff
10     Gene Jantzen
11     Mike Dubel
12     Joseph Thaler
13     John McWilliams (1)
14     Robert McCusie
15     Peter Bonny

Most Muscular
1     Sam Loprinzi
2     Alan Stephan


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #426 on: October 09, 2020, 12:48:26 PM »
Strength & Health, Page 30, July 1946

The "Mr. America" Contest! 1946
by Bob Hoffman
A GROUP of America's best built young men appeared for the special events of the "Mr. America" contst on Saturday night, June 1st. This gave the officials a good opportunity to closely observe the meritorious features of a liberal number of America's best developed athletes in action as they selected teh winners of the special divisions; best arms, best back, best chest, best legs and best abdominal development.

The majority of those who had entered the "Mr. America" contest also took part in all of these special divisions. I believe that this year's contestants as a group were the best, ever to participate in this most outstanding physique contest.

The first special event was the subdivision, big arms. The exceptional physical specimens competing in this event were called out one by one to pose. After closely examining the arms of the entire group, the judges requested John McWilliams of the Athletic Club of Columbus, Ohio, Sam Loprinzi representing the York Barbell Club, John Farbotnik of Fritshe's Gym in Philadelphia and Alan Stephan of the Douglas Park Club of Chicago to pose again. Incidentally, Alan Stephan is the AI Steponaitis that has been featured in Strength & Health. He recently changed his name. All of these selected contestants provided wonderful displays of arm development in this special repeat posing exhibition. John McWilliams was declared the winner of this event. His massive upper arms measuring over 18 inches were very impressive. Sam Loprinzi was a close second in this subdivision.

In the best back event the muscular development of the majority of the entrants was most extraordinary. The ultimate winner of this sub-division was 22 year old Alan Stephan of Chicago. He was recently released from the Navy after serving for three years. During this period he took part in some of the battles in the Pacific. All the time he was away he had with him a pair of 40, pound York adjustable dumbells and one of the pre-war ten black cable expanders. These exercising appliances combined with some heavy barbell training, when barbells were available, were chiefly responsible for developing his wonderful back musculature which won for him the special award in the best back event, and paved the way to his victory in the "Mr. America" contest.

Broad shouldered Joe Lauriano from the York Barbell Club was second. John Farbotnik of Fritshe's Gym was third and the "Junior Mr. America", Everett Sinderoff of the FaII River Boy's Club was fourth in the best back sub-division.

The best chest division brought out as finalists John Farbotnik, Sam Loprinzi, Kimon Voyages and Joe Lauriano. This group was finally narrowed down with the repeated posing to Farbotnik and Sam Loprinzi. It was difficult to select a winner between these wonderful physical specimens. Farbotnik a few months ago looked like Jules Bacon of some years ago. But Farbotnik has been gaining strength and muscle at a rapid rate. Gained 8 pounds since his appearance at the "Strength" show Fritshe sponsored in Philadelphia in March of this year. All of the weight had been built in the right places and he seemed to have everything.

The judges finally declared that Farbotnik was the winner of this event. He had the deepest chest in the competition. Please pardon the seeming immodesty but Farbotnik's chest swelled out more like my own chest than any I have seen. I told John that he certainly deserved to win one of the awards. He is sensationaI and will unquestionably be still better in the future.

It was tough for Sam Loprinzi to lose all of these special divisions by such a narrow margin. I said at this point that Sam was having the same experience as a girl who is often a bridesmaid but never a bride. Also said that Sam was on a par with the best in each division. Continued by saying "When Sam gets all of these extraordinary features together he would be hard to beat for the Most Muscular Man title." Although any athlete would like to be selected for the "Mr. America" title, Sam Loprinzi, who is 5 feet 6 inches tall, thought that his shorter than average stature would be a handicap for that honor. So he had centered all his hopes and training upon winning the Most Muscular Man title.

Last year's winner of best abdominals was the winner again this year. I refer to Honolulu Joe Lauriano, last year's "Junior Mr. America", who was representing the York Barbell Club. Abe Goldberg of the East Side Barbell Club from New York City and Everett Sinderoff proved to be Lauriano's closest rivals for the best abdominals award.

Similarly last year's winner of best legs repeated this year. Kimon Voyages has a powerful herculean body of which the best feature is his remarkable legs. They are large and powerful yet extremely shapely. The sweeping curve of his vastus muscles and the front upper thigh, the full rounded curve of the thigh biceps and the shapely contours of the calf muscles make his leg development truly extraordinary.

Lauriano's thigh development is so exceptional that he gave Voyages competition for the best leg award. John Farbotnik and Sam Loprinzi were also close rivals in this sub-division.

Sunday evening, June 2nd, the competition to determine this year's "Mr. America" and "Most Muscular Man" was held. Emmett Faris of Cincinnati, who is Chairman of the Ohio Association of the AAU Weight Lifting Association, Chester Teegarden, now instructor of weight training at Purdue University, Art Gay, famous physical culture director of a gym in Rochester, Harry Paschall, creator of Bosco and an expert official, and Fred Hoffmeister, who operates a gymnasium in Indianapolis, served as the official judges for the subdivisions in the physique competition on Saturday evening and again for the "Mr. America" and "Most Muscular Physique" events on Sunday evening. Thus, the contestants had a group of very capable officials to judge their physical merits.

Both awards were to be decided at the same time on Sunday evening. The scoring basis for the "Mr. America" event was to allow a maximum of 7 points for muscular development, a maximum of 5 points for proportions or symmetry, a maximum of 2 points for the combination of posture, general appearance, condition of skin, teeth and hair, and 1 point was allowed for posing ability. Each contestant was allowed one minute to pose as an individual. The lighting was so arranged that it was sufficiently adequate and uniform to allow the judges to clearly observe the merits and flaws of each physique on display.

After all of the contestants had posed the judges requested the five finalists to appear upon the stage together. The athletes in this select group were Alan Stephan, Sam Loprinzi, Leo Stern of San Diego, California, who recently won the "Mr. California" physique title, Joe Lauriano and John Farbotnik. The audience was tense, eagerly awaiting the final decisions, for it was evident that the competition between these five wonderfully developed finalists was close. A minute or two after the finalists appeared upon the stage together the decisions were announced. Alan Stephan of Chicago was the grand prize winner of the much coveted "Mr. America" title. Sam Loprinzi was a close second. The scoring of the five finalists was as follows:

Name   Points
Alan Stephan   72
Sam Loprinzi   69
Leo Stern   63
Joe Laouriano   62
John Farbotnik   59
A perfect score would have been a total of 75 points so it is evident that Alan Stephan, the 1946 "Mr. America" title holder, was nearly perfect in the judges' estimation. He makes an ideal "Mr. America" for he is tall, well proportioned, broad shouldered, deep chested, has a pleasing and impressive muscular contour and is extremely handsome. The next issue of Strength & Health will feature an article devoted to his athletic career and will be illustrated with some fine recent photos of our new "Mr. America."

Soon after the decisions in the "Mr. America" competition were released the judges decided the ratings for the "Most Muscular Physique" title. The first check of their totals revealed that Sam Loprinzi and Alan Stephan were tied for this major award with a total of 34 points each. A perfect score in this event would have been 35 points. A recheck of the judges was then taken and four of the officials decided in favor of Sam Loprinzi for the "Most Muscular Physique" title. This decision proved a favorable one with the spectators and made Sam very happy to have won the title he was striving for. Joe Lauriano placed in a tie for third with Leo Stern in the scoring for the "Most Muscular Physique" title and added to his world fame for possessing one of the best physiques among bodybuilders.

Strength & Health Magazine is donating suitable attractive trophies to all the subdivision physique winners. Especially large trophies are being presented by this publication to Sam Loprinzi for winning the "Most Muscular Physique" title and to Alan Stephan for winning the "Mr. America" title. We hope, in an early future issue of the magazine, to publish photos of these outstanding physique title holders posing with the Strength & Health trophies.

Results of the Mr. America and Most Muscular Man Contests for 1946
Name   Affiliation   City   Overall   Muscular
Alan Stephan   Douglas Park   Chicago, Ill.   72   34
Sam Loprinzi   York Barbell   York, Pa.   68   34
Leo Stern   Progressive Health Training   San Diego, Cal.   63   31
Joe Lauriano   York Barbell   York, Pa.   62   31
John Farbotnik   Fritshe's Gym   Philadelphia, Pa.   59   29
Abe Goldberg   East Side BBC   New York, N. Y.   58   29
Victor Nicoletti   Brooklyn Central YMCA   Memphis, Tenn.   58   29
Kimon Voyages   Unattached   New York, N. Y.   55   23
Everett Sinderoff   Fall River BC   Fall River, Mass.   55   24
Gene Jantzen   Unattached   Bartelso, Ill.   54   23
Mike Dubel   Detroit Body Builders AC   Detroit, Mich.   52   24
Joseph M. Thaler   New York University   Brooklyn, N. Y.   51   23
John McWilliams   Columbus AC   Columbus, Ohio   50   23
Robert McCusie   Unattached   Amsterdam, N. Y.   49   22
Peter Bonny   Unattached   Spring Lake, Mich.   45   18
Best Arm Development won by John McWilliams
Best Leg Development won by Kimon Voyages
Best Back Development won by Alan Stephan
Best Abdominal Development won by Joe Lauriano
Best Chest Development won by John Farbotnik.


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #427 on: October 09, 2020, 12:49:07 PM »
IronMan, Vol 7, No 1, Page 14, est. Fall 1946

excerpts from
Supermen On Display, 1946 Senior Nationals and Mr America Contest
We are devoting considerable space to a report with photos of the 1946 Sr. National Championships and the Mr. America Contest. It has seemed that this big National event is the culmination of the months of hard work for both lifters and the bodybuilders. The lifting for the lifters and the Mr. America contest for the bodybuilders. We hope our report will help you who were not there to visualize this great event.
Without a doubt the Nationals of 1946 will rank as one of the best championships ever held in America with all those who had the opportunity to attend them. Your Editor and his Wife were two of those priviliged to attend this great meet. New Champions were crowned in most classes and many surprises materialized. Some of the best lifting the world has ever seen took place. Any one. who missed this great meet missed some of the thrills of his life time. In the Mr. America Contest there appeared what was probably the finest array of muscular perfection ever seen in one group in America or for that matter in the world. The judges of this contest had a herculean task deciding the winner as well as the winners of the best developed arm, chest, back, abdominals, and legs.

We realize that so many of you couldn't be there and that many of you who had planned on attending, found it impossible to make the trip at the last minute so we will take considerable space in this issue to give you a complete picture of the meet in words and pictures. We will show you quite a number of pictures in this issue and more will appear in subsequent issues. We feel that every one of our readers will be vitally interested in this great meet whether they are bodybuilders or weightlifters because both are represented in the Nationals. We feel that the Mr. America Contestants are representative of the bodybuilders of America. They represent the ultimate of perfection that most bodybuilders are striving for just as do the lifters represent the peak of the development of strength and lifting technique that all weight lifters seek.

Mrs Rader and I arrived in Detroit the morning of May 30th, tired from a long trip but excited at the prospects of the meet and meeting new friends. We were not disappointed in any way. We were fortunate in that we had asked George Yacos to get us a room reservation, as many of the fellows found it impossible to find a room in Detroit as the "Golden Jubulee" of the Automobile industry was in progress and the city was crowded to capacity, so much so that people were warned not to go down town because of the traffic jam which would prevent their returning for the evening sessions of the lifting. However cots were placed in the beautiful auditorium of the Boys' Club where the meet was held and all were taken care of.

Many of you will express surprise over the fact that the meet was held at the Boys' Club after it had been announced for Cass Tech. High School. This was done, we were told because of the coal strike which prevented them from obtaining coal necessary for operating the air conditioning system at the High School. There was some question as to whether the Boy's Club with a capacity of 1200 would hold the crowds expected at the event. However as it developed it was large enough -- possibly because of the charge of $1.20 each for reserved seats for each of the four sessions. The Boys' Club is a beautiful building located about 6 miles from the business section of the city. Under the circumstances it was a fine place for the meet. Much credit must be given to the hard working committee for the preparations for the meet. Don Wille was chairman of the committee which included Dietrich Wortmann, Helmut Frank, E. Rommeck, Frank Romano, A. Maleski, John Krill, E. A. Wright, George Yacos, George Fraser, Frank Kalbfell, Stanley Cieslak John Wlodyka, Edward Wlodyka, C. H. Brennan.

As soon as my wife and I had cleaned up and had our breakfast, we went at once to George Yacos Gym. George has a wonderful place there for musclemen to train. We show you a fine photo of it in this issue which will tell you better than words just what it is like. George devotes his full time to his gym and his large list of famous pupils. Some of the best built and strongest men in the country train at his place. Emerick Ishikawa, the featherweight champ, and N. Schemansky the Jr. Nats. heavyweight champ, both train at the Yacos gym. While visiting at the gym on the 30th we also met the mighty little giant, Joe DePietro, who later won the 123 pound class and made a world record in the press with 217 pounds. What a physique he has. We show a photo of him in this issue. Orville Wertzbaugher, former lightweight champion of Calif., now with Uncle Sam's forces stationed at Denver dropped in. Orville had bad luck in his lifting as he failed with all his presses and decided to drop out as he didn't want to slow up the contest. Orville was not in his best shape and overestimated his strength. In his best condition he could have won the lightweight class.

We also met Leo Stern the "Mr. California" of 1946 at the Yacos Gym. Leo is a fine young fellow, honest and sincere with a pleasing personality. You will hear more about him later in this report. Leo had trained down to 185 pounds from 205 for this event and was in very fine condition.

The following day we visited the Boys' Club and also met a lot more of the fellows arriving for the contest the following day. Then back to the Yacos Gym where we found more of the fellows coming in for the meet. The York boys came in that evening. We also met Ray Van Cleef there and went out to dinner with him. Ray is now an associate Editor of Strength and Health working at the thing he loves best. We had a very enjoyable visit with him. Most of the lifters and enthusiasts came in the evening of the 31st so they could get a good night's rest. The truth of the matter is, your Editor and his wife got very little sleep -- we were so busy getting acquainted with many barbell men from all over the country and we wouldn't have missed a moment of it. We wish we had room to tell about all the fellows we met and what we talked about but there just isn't room. Perhaps it will come out later in Iron Man.

About noon of June 1st, we found everyone gathering at the Boys' Club. What a great congregation of might and muscular magnificence went on display there in the next two days. The first lifting session began at about 3 o'clock before a full house of about 1000 spectators. The 123 lb. and the 148 lb. classes were run off in this afternoon session. They were both run off together and tho this caused the contest to run along faster, yet it slightly confused the audience who were not all able to determine whether a featherweight or a lightweight was lifting. Bob Hoffman was Master of Ceremonies throughout the whole meet. Officials were changed for each lift. Most of the officials being picked from the National Weightlifting Committee of which there was a large delegation present. Mr. Wortmann presided over the whole meet from his place on the platform beside the announcer and score-keepers. [...]

The evening session of Saturday the 2st, was devoted to the 181 pound class and the subdivisions of the "Mr. America" contest. [...]

After the lightheavy class had lifted and the platform had been cleared, we were treated to one of the finest displays of the perfect male physique most of us have ever been privileged to see. Fifteen marvelously developed men participated in the "Mr. America" contest and on Sat. night they contested for the "Best Legs", "Best Back", Best Abdominals", and "Best Chest". Moving pictures were taken both of the lifting and the "Mr. America" contest, most especially of the "Mr. America" contest. If they come to your theater don't miss them.

The men posed on a raised platform with an overhead light and against a background of green curtain. Personally I liked the first night better because the flood lights used for the movies spoiled the overhead lighting the second night.

The judges for both nights were: Harry Paschall, Chester O. Teegarden, Art Gay, Fred Hoffmeister, and Emmett Faris. The contestants were all called to stage at one time. What a breathtaking sight that was. Everyone of them perfectly developed with beautiful tans, and superb posture. They were an imposing sight such as few people there had ever even dreamed of. It is impossible for photos to do any of these fellows justice. After the contestants had retired they were called out one at a time and given an opportunity to pose for the best arm then again for the best legs, then again for best back and so on for all the sub-divisions. In some cases several were asked to return to the stage that the judges might view them together -- say those judges had a terrific task. There wasn't a one of those boys who didn't have marvelous arms. I guess the judges could do nothing else than give it to the man with the biggest arms -- John McWilliams. His arms Were 18.5 and all muscle. They were beautifully shaped. His triceps were terrific. We will show photos of all those boys from time to time. You will see group photos of them in this issue. Kimmon Voyages won the best legs without a question. His legs are beautifully shaped with good separation and large size. I believe he said they measured 27 inches and he is about 5' 6" in height. In photos his legs look a little out of proportion but in the flesh this is not the case as he has a terrific upper body too. He had been doing 10 sets of 10 repetitions each of the squat with 300 pounds and over in preparation for this contest. He has done 10 squats with 385 pounds. Correct me if I'm wrong on this Kimmon, but as I recall it this is what you told me.

Everyone of those boys had wonderful backs but none of them had the separation shown by Alan Stephan who was to win the Mr. America contest the next night. Never before have I seen such muscular mass and separation combined on a back. Most of you will remember Alan under the name of Steponitis. He is a very strong lifter and is especially good on the curl.

Joe Lauriano, last year's Jr. Mr. America, won the best abdominals with his unusual development and separation. Joe has a marvelous all round development and photos fail to do him justice.

John Farbotnik won the best chest with his amazingly deep chest. We would say that John has just about reached the limit of chest depth. He is really barrel chested with a pair of highly developed pectoral muscles to match.


The evening session on Sunday started at 7 P.M. The first even was the heavyweight lifting. [...]

After the heavyweight lifting, the stage was again cleared for the big event for many people, the Mr. America contest. The hall was certainly packed this Sunday evening for the big events of the heavyweight lifting and the Mr. America contest. The Judges called all the contestants up to the stage at one time as they did the first night. The audience was again treated to an amazing sight. The entire stage was highly lighted this evening with overhead lights and also the flood lights of the movie cameramen. Some little difficulty was experienced arranging the lighting satisfactory for the judges. The contestants were then called to the stage one at a time and allowed one minute for posing. They were allowed to use any poses they wished. Most of them did not use the full minute of time. All of them gave an amazing show of muscularity, shape, posing and personality. After each had his turn at posing alone the judges called back some of them and had them pose together again. We show photos of these groups in some of their poses. Various contestants and groups were called back several times before the judges had completed their work and made a decision for the Mr. America and the Most Muscular awards. You will see a complete tabulation of points for each contestant elsewhere.

The audience roared its approval when it was announced that Alan Stephan of Chicago won the Mr. America and tied with Sam Loprinzi for the Most Muscular title. Sam was awarded the title by the judges. Alan Stephan, whose family name was formerly Steponitis but has been officially changed to Stephan is a tall handsome blond with a very strong personality. His winning smile as well as his marvelous physique endeared him to everyone. He has very good separation. His measurements are large enough to satisfy the boys looking for bulk. He possesses tremendous strength as he is credited with a two arm curl of 225 pounds as well as other fine lifts. He was at one time considered as a great prospect for the heavyweight class but his interest has turned more to bodybuilding recently. He had a beautiful light golden brown tan with a flawless skin and beautiful teeth. He carried himself with magnificent posture and had excellent posing ability.

It was a very close contest between Alan and Sam Loprinzi. All that we have said about Alan can also be said of Sam. We would say that had Sam been a little taller he would probably have won. He is extremely muscular. He is perfectly developed in every respect. He showed very good separation, has wonderful posture and is very good at posing. He had a little darker tan than Alan. This is probably because he is a brunet with beautiful black curry hair, beautiful teeth and a winning smile. We believe that he probably had the most attractive personality of any contestant (and we say this with all due respect to the others as it was hard to choose between any of them in any way). Sam is opening a Studio in his home town of Portland, Ore. shortly and is sure to succeed.

Joe Lauriano fourth place winner, has a wonderful physique. He has unusual development of the abdominals and chest muscles, and is much improved over last year. Leo. D. Stern who was recently chosen Mr. California, won third place. He surprised everyone with his wonderful development, excellent separation and general appearance. Leo is opening a studio in San Diego as soon as he returns home and we wish him the best of luck. As we know, California is full of perfect physiques. Leo was chosen as the best of them all and sent to the Nationals to represent California. The fact that he took 3rd place is some indication of the high class physiques represented at this meet. Abe Goldberg just out of the service has a beautiful physique and particularly fine abdominals. Victor Nicoletti is a handsome brunet with a very dark tan and a fine development. He was heavier and more compact than most of the other contestants. Farbotnik is very good all over but his deep chest was outstanding. He took fifth place. Kimmon Voyages has a very heavy build but is withal very shapely. His legs are outstanding. They are very shapely as well as massive, with good separation -- a refutation of the old saying that specialized squatting will not give you shapely legs. Sinderoff who won the Jr. Mr. America contest has a fine physique. Jantzen, handsome blond is quite shapely but seemed lighter and more slender than we remembered him before. With more bodyweight he would be a strong contender. Dubel has a fine physique and will doubtless improve a great deal. Joe Thaler has a nice physique and will show great improvement as he is quite young yet. John McWilliams is the man with the huge arms. He likewise has a marvelous chest and back. He has the most fully developed triceps we have seen. His biceps are tremendous too. He has overcome great handicaps in developing his wonderful physique. He will be a strong contender in future contests. Due to an injury his legs were but 13" but now they are well developed tho they appeared slender compared to his great upper body. Bob McCune has a fine physique as has Bonny. Both these, boys will improve a great deal.

Every man had outstanding posture. All of them had nice tans. All contestants were forbidden to use oil on their bodies. Some of them were confused in their posing. More thought should be given to a posing routine. Each pose should be carefully studied for effect. Wiggly or moving poses should be avoided. Each pose should blend with the last one and the one following. There should be no hesitation between poses. It should be a smooth flow of rhythm and muscular beauty. The best points of your physique should be shown in each pose. Avoid poses that show up any defects. Do not hold a pose too long. Also do not hold it too short a time. Just long enough for judges to get a good overall view of your physique but not long enough for them to start picking flaws. When you are through with your routine, leave the stage at once. Don't stand there hesitant and trying to think up some new poses to use up your time period. And always remember that a pleasing smile helps a lot. Be courteous to judges and audience no matter how hard it is at times.

Now I think a few thoughts on preparation procedure and judging are in order. It is our belief and suggestion that all perfect man contests be conducted under uniform rules and conditions. We suggested that a rule book be made up for this purpose and that all contests be conducted strictly according to these rules. Thus every contestant will know beforehand what poses he can use how much time he has, what lighting will be used, what make up if any he can use, and a number of other things that may come to their mind.

It will also give a uniform point system for judging. The judges can become familiar with the entire procedure so that they will be more capable of doing an efficient, honest and satisfactory job.

This suggestion met with the approval of the members of the weightlifting committee that were there. We believe that now is the time to start the ball rolling. We therefore are asking that our readers send in any suggestions they may have for the makeup of this rule book. When we have collected all possible material and suggestions we will arrange it and present it to the Committee through our chairman, Mr. Dietrich Wortmann.

Special Act -- Guy Gibby who billed himself as the "All-American Boy", put on two special acts during intermissions in the second day's performances which kept the audience in good humor. Guy was entered in the Mr. America contest but did not compete. He did some handbalancing tumbling, and a few strong man stunts. Dressed as "Superman" he lifted a high stack of tables and chairs precariously balanced with his teeth by biting the corner of the bottom table. He also gave a nice exhibition of chain breaking and cable stretching, having 10 men of the audience come up and attempt to duplicate his stunts.

Point Scoring For Mr. America Contest
Name   City   Points
Mr America   Points
Most Muscular
Alan Stephan   Chicago, Ill.   72   34
Sam Loprinzi   Portland, Ore.   68   34
Leo Stern   San Diego, Cal.   63   31
Joe Lauriano   York, Pa.   61   31
John Farbotnik   Phila., Pa.   59   29
Abe Goldberg   New York City   58   29
Vic Nicoletti   Brooklyn   58   29
Kimmon Voyages   New York   55   23
Everett Sinderoff   Fall Riv.   55   24
Gene Jantzen   Bartelso, Ill.   54   23
Mike Dubel   Detroit, Mich.   52   24
Joseph Thaler   Brooklyn   51   23
John McWilliams   Columbus   50   23
Robert McCune   Amsterdam   49   22
W. Bonny   Spring Lake, Mich.   45   18
Tie for Most Muscular was given to Loprinzi by judges. Best arm, John McWIlliams (18 1/2"). Best Legs, Kimon Voyages (about 27"). Best Back, Alan Stephan. Best Abdominals, Joe Lauriano. Best Chest, John Farbotnik.

Judges - Harry Paschall, Chester O Teegarden, Art Gay, F. Hoffmeister, Emmet Faris.


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #428 on: October 09, 2020, 12:49:45 PM »
ronMan, Vol 7, No 1, Page 5, est. Fall 1946

Alan Stephan - Mr. America for 1946
by Peary Rader
Here for the first time is the complete story of Alan Stephan, "Mr. America of 1946." We know that you will receive much inspiration from his story.
On the evening of June 2nd in Detroit in connection with the 1946 National Weight Lifting Championships we were privileged to witness the 1946 "Mr America" contest. In addition we had the opportunity to view in all its magnificence the finest manhood that America has been able to produce. As you know this event was won by Alan Stephan who we feel you will agree, after seeing his photos and reading his story, ranks at the top of winners of "Mr. America" contests. If you are interested in Shape he has it. If it is separation, we doubt if any of them have had more. If it is measurements that interest you, you will find his are probably larger than any winner thus far. If it is strength that interests you, this young fellow ranks at the top with John Grimek. Here is a handsome young fellow with a personality, grace and posture that seem natural to him. Here is a man with everything you could ask for. He has the height that so many people demand in a "Mr. America". What else could you wish?

Nothing that we can say or any photo that we can show will give you a true conception of the beauty and magnificence of his physique. If you have an opportunity to see this young fellow in action, don't miss it! We are not belittling Alan's competitors in this event for as you can see they ranked so close to him in the point scoring that it was very close to a tie. However we must consider that this was Alan's first physique contest He had never had any experience at posing before the public. He had only trained for 6 weeks for this event, having been discharged from the Navy just 2 months to the day before this contest.

But let us get on with Alan's story. We'd like to give it to you in his own words. But Alan is a modest young fellow and has asked us to rewrite it.

Alan Stephan was born 22 years ago in Cicero, Ill. (his present home), of Lithuanian parents. His name was Albert Steponaitis until recently when he and his family had it changed to Stephan. His father was a very large and powerful man and at one time had a 22 1/2 inch arm. This arm came from hard work on farms in the old country and later in steel mills in Gary, Indiana. Thus you can see that Alan had a good heritage for the physique he developed.

Alan tells us that he was not unusually strong as a boy, just average. He participated In the regular athletics as a boy in school such as football.

When Alan was 15 years old he visited Douglas park where he saw the great star George Hanus performing on the flying rings. It was George's skill and marvelous development that determined Alan to seek physical perfection. (You may remember George Hanus was the young fellow who some years ago was called the second Grimek. George later gave his life for his country in the Merchant Marines during the last war. Alan speaks very highly of George for his help and inspiration to the young fellows he came in contact with). Alan at once began to ply George Hanus with all the questions he could think of. George gave him a lot of advice and among other things set him a goal of 100 chins to the back of the neck and 100 dips on the bars. During that summer by hard work following the advice of his friend, George, he managed to gain 35 pounds in bodyweight. He also reached 25 reps. in the chin behind neck and the dips on bars.

That fall he entered high school (The J. Sterling Molton High School in Cicero), and joined the gymnastic and tumbling teams. During his high school days he followed a terrific program. He worked out with the gymnastics teams at high school and in the evenings three nights per week he would go to the Douglas Park Gym and work out some more at wrestling and weight training. At that time (or for that matter any time in the future) he was not interested in competitive lifting to any great extent but in bodybuilding. During this time however, he entered a few local and central district A. A.U. lifting meets and won many first places. Alan tells us that his lifts didn't amount to much and he doesn't consider it worth mentioning but as I recall he pressed 260, snatched 240, and clean and jerked 325 when he was 19 at a bodyweight of about 205 pounds. We feel that the above lifts are very good considering that he didn't specialize at lifting but was a bodybuilder.

Alan graduated from High School in June of 1943 and in July entered the Navy. He had his boot training in Farragut, Idaho. One day while working with the physical training class in the desert, his fine physique and ability caught the attention of Lt. Gustafson, the Public Relations Officer of the training station. Alan was immediately transfered to "Ship's Company" at the station to model for the Navy's Public Relations Artists. In this work he posed for Navy Recruiting Posters, Warbond Posters, and many other things requiring a model.

Later he was transferred to the Seabees at Camp Perry, Virginia. He was now assigned as a Judo, Wrestling and Hand to Hand combat instructor. He worked under the former 140 pound world amateur champion wrestler, Roy Moore. Moore is the only white man in the world to earn the coveted "Fifth Degree Black Belt" in Judo contest, which symbolized over a hundred victories in Judo against the best the Japs and Whites could offer. He learned his Judo from the originator. Baron Shimura and then came to the U. S., trained an American team, and took on the best the Japs could offer in their own country. His team beat the Japs. This was before the war. During the war, Moore trained hundreds of Navy, Marine, and Seabee men in the art of the hand-to-hand combat. This was not pleasant work, but was necessary. Alan feels he was very fortunate to be able to work under Mr. Moore as one of his instructors. Alan also won several wrestling and Judo titles in Navy competition.

After several months at Camp Perry, Alan was sent to Davisville, R. I. Then to other U. S. Seabee bases and then to Pearl Harbor for eight months and finally to Guam for another eight months. All this time he had very little opportunity to work out with the weights. The only exercise and training he obtained was what he got in teaching hand-to-hand combat. You can well understand that he had little time to improve his physique for 3 years or slightly less that he was in the Service. On April 2 1946 he was discharged from the Navy. Two weeks later he started training for the Mr. America Contest which allowed him just 6 weeks of training.

A good friend of Alan's persuaded him to enter. He tells us that he hadn't the slightest idea of winning as he didn't feel that 6 weeks would allow for much training and he had no experience whatever in perfect man contests. He did however feel that it would be a wonderful chance to meet all the greats in the game such as Loprinzi, Jantzen, Stern, Voyages, Lauriano etc. who were also entered as well as famous lifters such as Davis, Ishikawa, Spellman, Terpak, Kay, Grimek and many others. Alan felt that after some experience like this and another three or four years of training he might be able to win. He writes. '"To my joy and surprise, I won! I consider it the finest honor that has ever come my way, and I am going to work hard to be worthy of it, and to try to inspire all the young fellows I can to work the same way, just as George Hanus and my friends have inspired me. Anyone who wants to win a physique contest can do so if he works hard and if he begins early enough, as I have been so fortunate to discover this month." Alan tells us that he uses the old standard favorite exercises that everyone uses, with lots of repetitions. In other words there is no secret to his training methods except hard work. He trains very similar to other men who enter perfect man contests. He has done repetitions with 215 pounds in the curl. We would judge that this is just about a world record. We have been told that he has succeeded with 225 lbs. in the curl tho Alan did not mention this. He has also done reps. in the pullover with 200 pounds. He has also supine pressed 330 pounds on a bench and 335 on the floor. These as you will notice are all power lifts with little chance for science to enter in. You will also notice that they class him with the strongest men of our time, or of any time for that matter.

As most of you know, Alan won the best Back contest at the meet. He has a marvelous back with knots of muscles standing out all over it. He also had wonderful separation of the back muscles. Much of his back development probably comes from his practice of chins behind the neck as well as his pullovers. He has a marvelous spread of latissimus muscles.

His advice to new men is to start early, work hard, and don't loose faith and you are sure to win recognition for your physical development.

Alan's future plans include going to University this fall. He doesn't intend to turn professional as he says he is much more interested in obtaining an education than the money he could make as a professional. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer people took a lot of news reels of Alan after the meet and some offers are being made him but unless they are unusually attractive Alan will turn them down for as he says "I don't consider myself an actor but an athlete! But it is mighty flattering, anyway!"

Most of you have been wondering what measurements the 1946 "Mr. America" has. Here they are at the time he won his title. Age 22, Height 5 ft. 11 1/2 in., Weight 205, Chest 48 1/2, 50 expanded, Waist 31, Biceps 18.4, Forearm 14.5, Wrist 7.5 Thigh 26, Calf 17, Ankle 10 1/2, Neck 17. A few of Alan's measurements have been just slightly larger than this at one time, I believe, but he was trained down fine for the contest. We predict that Alan will soon have a 19 inch arm and perhaps some time he will reach even 20 inches in hard condition. Remember that his father had a 22 1/2 inch arm tho not in the hard condition that Alan is in. We predict a great future for him and extend the best wishes of all the barbell men in the world to Alan Stephan, "Mr. America" for 1946!


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #429 on: October 09, 2020, 12:50:23 PM »
Your Physique, Vol 6, No 2, Page 8, September 1946

Mr. America Contest
1946 Senior Nationals
DETROIT, Michigan, was the busy scene of two events of national importance the weekend of June 1st and 2nd. The Motor City celebrated its "Golden Jubilee" Week of 50 years of automotive progress, and it was host city to the 1946 A.A.U. Senior National Weightlifting Championships and "Mr. America Contest.

It was quite a sight for visiting weightlifting enthusiasts to arrive in the Motor City and find Woodward Avenue painted gold for a mile of its length downtown! Those not in the know thought it a rather elaborate welcome for a weightlifting meet, until they realized that it had been painted for the Automotive Golden Jubilee. Nevertheless, it added considerable to the festivity of the affair.

Competition in the lifting events and "Mr. America" contest was particularly keen after the war years, and most of those present agreed that it was the best meet in a long period of fine competitions. The Boys' Club of Detroit and the Michigan A.A.U. presented a beautifully organized and operated program, and the fine big gym of the Boy's Club was packed to capacity at every session. That the meet was held at all after the nation-wide upsets of the coal and railroad strikes, and with Detroit packed and crowded with the Jubilee celebrations, was a tribute to hard work and enthusiasm on the part of the Michigan A.A.U. and Boys' Club officials. That it should have been such a success was due largely to the efforts of C. H. Brennan, Secretary, and E. A. Wright, Chairman, of the A.A.U. and the Boys' Club. And also to the enthusiastic crowd of contestants, many of whom were experiencing their first competition since returning from the service.

(weightlifting report skipped)

Saturday Evening Session
(weightlifting report skipped)

Competition for the "Mr. America Subdivisions" to select the best back, best chest, etc., was especially keen. Twenty competitors in all were entered, including such well-known muscle men as Gene Jantzen, Kimon Voyages, Joe Lauriano, Sam Loprinzi, Leo Stern, Vic Nicoletti, Abe Goldberg, and the "dark horse" Al Steponaitis competing under his new family name of Stephan. A little difficulty was experienced at first when the lights provided for the benefit of the photographers present at the meet were found to "flatten out" the definition of the first few contestants, and they were changed for a pair of overhead spotlights. It was unfortunate that the first three competitors had to be judged under this lighting, as readers may be able to determine from analysis of the photograph of the winners of the "Mr America Subdivisions"; particularly since the "Best Chest" judging led off - a body classification in which lighting is particularly important. The first three competitors were Kimon Voyages, John McWilliams, and Alan Stephan. However, the judges were careful and thoughtful, and undoubtedly awarded the titles as they saw them.

In the "Best Chest" Division, the judges called back Gene Janzten, Sam Loprinzi, Joe Lauriano, John McWilliams, Vic Nicoletti, and John Verbotnik [sic]. Handsome likeable Gene Janzten possessed admirable symmetry and good bulk, plus beautiful posing ability. Loprinzi had amazing bulk, and a pair of pectorials like watermelons. John Verbotnik had bulk, symmetry, and definition, as did Lauriano, and Nicoletti. McWilliams possessed amazing bulk. In a close decision, the title for the "BEST CHEST" Division was awarded to John Verbotnik of Fritsche's Gym, Philadelphia, with Sam Loprinzi a very close second.

The "Best Arms" Division boiled down to a contest between Abe Goldberg of the East Side Barbell Club of New York; Sam Loprinzi of York; John McWilliams of the Columbus, Ohio, Athletic Club; Leo Stern, "Mr. California" representing the Progressive Health Training Club of San Diego, California; and John Farbotnik of Fritsche's Gym. Despite Loprinzi's amazing definition and bulk, and John Farbotnik's symmetry, definition, and bulk, John McWilliams' might arms stood out well above the nearest competitor. We tried to get a measure of them, but lacking that, have had to guess their size. However, it is quite possible that they measure 20" or more.

Competitors for the "Best Abdominals" were boiled down to these four after elimination by the judges: Abe Goldberg; Vic Nicoletti representing the Brooklyn Central "Y"; Joe Lauriano, "Mr. Honolulu", of York; and Everett Sinderoff of Fall River, Massachusetts. Al Stephan did not compete in this class, although many looked to him to take the prize. Abe Goldberg's definition and muscle control were phenomenal, but he was nosed out by Joe Lauriano, who thus won the title for "Best Abdominals" two years in a row.

Far and away the "Best Back" at the meet was that of Al Stephan, who was later to win the title of "Mr. America". Against such stellar competition as Sam Loprinzi, Vic Nicoletti, Everett Sinderoff, and John Farbotnik, Al's mighty back muscles easily walked away with the title. By the time of judging this event, the lighting errors had been rectified, and Stephan's amazing bulk, definition, and symmetry stood out like Hercules himself. The decision of the judges was unanimous in awarding "Best Back" to Al Stephans.

There remained only the "Best Legs" division to complete the session. Here, too, competition was keen, with handsome Abe Goldberg, Leo "Mr. California" Stern, Joe "Honolulu" Lauriano, Kimon Voyages, and John Farbotnik all likely contenders. All five were called back by the judges. Leo Stern had tied for fifth "Best Legs" in the 1945 Nationals in Los Angeles last year, and he had made tremendous gains since then. In an interest-packed decision, the judges awarded that title for "Best Legs" to Kimon Voyages of New York, making him again the winner of the title he won last year.

Sunday Afternoon Session
(weightlifting report skipped)

Sunday Evening Session
(weightlifting report skipped)

Then came the moment for which most of the audience had waited: the big 1946 "MR. AMERICA" contest. Judges were well-qualified men: Harry Paschall of Columbus, Ohio; Chester Teegarden, Weightlifting Coach at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; the well-known Art Gay of Rochester, New York; Fred Hoffmeister of Hoffmeister's Gym, Indianapolis, Indiana; and Emmett Faris of Cincinatti, Ohio, and the National Weightlifting Committee.

Again came the unfortunate mix-up in lighting arrangements. The newsreel cameramen required strong lighting for their movies, and had set up a battery of lights that drenched the platform in brilliant white light. However ideal this may have been for newsreel photographs, it was very poor for muscle posing, as it flattened out all semblance of definition in a white glare. Some of the early contestants had already come on and posed before the lighting problems were ironed out, a weighty problem involving much free advice shouted out by everyone: audience, judges, and contestants alike, and ending in the erection of a ladder on the platform to adjust the overhead lights. Finally everyone was satisfied, and the contest went on.

Kimon Voyages - "Mr. Legs" - had the lead-off spot: a tough position to fill. Voyages filled it "but good" with fine posing, those mighty thighs of his like knotted cables. Next came John McWilliams "Big John" of the might arms and chest. A big man all over, McWilliams made up in bulk what he lacked in definition. Then handsome blond Al Stephan came on. Al's poses were beautifully planned, and his smile caused many a sigh among the gals in the audience. Al possesses a chest and rib box development that is phenomenal, and he has the capacity of expanding it and projecting it to little short of enormous size. Regardless of the judges' opinions, many a feminine heart in the audience had already selected its own personal "Mr. America" by the time Al left the platform! Casimir M. Dubel of Detroit was next, a well-proportioned dark-haired lad who with more training and practice should be a likely contender in future meets. Bob McCusie of Amsterdam, New York, followed with a nice series of poses, followed in turn by Orville Wertzbaugher of the U.S. Army at Denver, Colorado, who bounced onto the stage full of pep and vinegar, did a few poses with a mile-wide grin on his face, and bounced off. Had a prize been awarded for pep and personality, Sgt. Orv Wertzbaugher would have had it!

Little Joe DiPietro, four feet ten inches of bulges, paraded on the stage as the next contender, got a good chuckle from the audience, then withdrew for more serious contenders. He was followed by Abe Goldberg, the Brooklyn marvel; Leo Stern, a well-proportioned and muscular "Mr. California", whose blond-red hair and white skin made handsome contrasts under the lights; dark Vic Nicoletti, a very good poser; Everett Sinderoff of Falls River, Mass., who had placed 4th in the 181 pound lifting contest. Next came tall, dark and handsome (!) "Honolulu Joe" Lauriano; Sam Loprinzi, a mass of muscle; collegiate-looking Pete Bonny of Spring Lake, Michigan, with his well-proportioned body and crew-clipped blond hair; followed by 17 year old Joe Thaler of Brooklyn and New York University. Endurance athlete Gene Jantzen and Ed Sheperd of Indianapolis brought up the rear. Jantzen has lost none of his famous posing ability and perfect symmetry, although building a new home by hand for his lovely wife, the former Pat King, had kept him from training for the superb definition he usually possesses.

Even before the official announcement had been made, the audience by some strange quirk knew that ALAN STEPHAN was the new "MR. AMERICA". He was led to the front of the stage, and the photographers' bulbs started popping, the audience cheering and shouting, and the judges trying to make themselves heard in the uproar, as the other four contestants stood uncertainly in the background. Someone led an attractive girl on the stage, and once more the bulbs started popping as the embarrassed and grinning new "Mr. America" had to pose showing her his muscles! Finally the master of ceremonies made himself heard over the uproar long enough to announce the official results: Alan Stephan, the new "Mr. America" by an almost perfect total of 74 out of a possible 75 points; Sam Loprinzi, 2nd with 68 points; Joe Lauriano 3rd with 62 points; Leo Stern 4th with 61; and John Farbotnik 5th with 58 points. By scoring 74 out of a possible 75 points, Stephan had achieved the amazing score of 15 - perfect - with four of the five judges, and missed perfection by only one point with the fifth!

In addition, he had tied with Sam Loprinzi of York for points on muscular development, which determines the "Most Muscular Man" winner! Loprinzi and Stephan both scored a total of 34 points in this classification, and at first it was intended to announce the title of "Most Muscular Man" as a tie until it became necessary to determine who was to be awarded the trophy and medal. By vote of the judges, Sam Loprinzi was declared "Most Muscular Man", and it was so announced over the loud speaker.

It was an excited and enthusiastic crowd that finally left the big Boys' Club Gym at around midnight on Sunday June 2nd, following the meet. It was the unanimous opinion of everyone, contestants, spectators, and judges alike, that it had been the Best Senior National A.A.U. Weightlifting Meet in history.


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #430 on: October 09, 2020, 12:51:10 PM »
1947 Mr America - AAU

1     Steve Reeves
2     Eric Pedersen
3     Joe Lauriano
4     John Farbotnik
5     George Eiferman
6     Kimon Voyages
7     Ed Simon
8     Alex Kigas
9     Russ Fields
10     Keevil Daly
11     Valerio Pasqua
12     Joseph Thaler
13     Kenneth Graham
14     Joe Shaw
15     Bruno Markunas
16     Moss McCray
17     Gene Jantzen
18     John McWilliams (1)
19     Mike Dubel
20     John Morley
21     Lyle Fox
22     Bill Custer
23     Ricardo Fernandez
24     Yas Kuzuhara
25     Gene Bohaty
26     Ed Banaszewski
27     Al Pasqua
28     Frank Troha
29     George Lapausky
30     Dan Bax
31     Mario Anosky
32     Ed Francis
33     John Ford (1)
34     Ray Miller (1)
35     John Apostol
36     Russell Carroll

Most Muscular
1     Eric Pedersen


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #431 on: October 09, 2020, 12:51:45 PM »
ronMan, Vol 7, No 5, Page 7, est. Fall 1947

Steve Reeves - "Mr. America" 1947
by Peary Rader
We are happy to present this interesting story of Steve Beeves the new "Mr. America". The information contained in this article was obtained from the man who has trained Steve through almost all his exercising career, Ed Yarick. so the information can be considered quite authentic.
On the night of June 29, 1947 at the Auditorium of the Lane High School in Chicago about 3,000 people witnessed the crowning of a new and sensational "'Mr. America". Most of the audience left the Auditorium amazed that such a muscularly perfect speciman existed. It was unbelievable that anyone could have such huge muscular size and yet retain the perfect balance in proportions, the excellent separation, that Steve Reeves displayed. Here was a man who combined the massive muscular development that appeals so much to barbell men with the broad shoulders and slender hips that the average man prefers. Here was a man who not only had a magnificent physique, but also combined it with a very handsome face crowned with beautiful jet black, curly hair. a magnetic personality and a flashing smile that showed his ivory white teeth.

We have never seen a man who looked finer in his street or dress clothes than Steve Reeves. Everywhere he goes people, turn to stare at this handsome young giant with the very broad shoulders and the erect carriage and lithe step. Steve Reeves was born January 21, 1926 of Irish Scotch and English descent. He grew up as any normal, healthy boy would with an interest in general sports and play. However, he acquired a desire to be larger and more powerful at an early age and missed no opportunity to increase his knowledge on any subject concerning bodybuilding.

Steve was not introduced to barbell exercise until the age of 16 when he visited the home of a friend, Joe Gamina. Some of the boys at Joe's house were having a wrist wrestling contest and Steve, knowing that he was much larger and heavier than Joe, decided to try himself. Much to his surprise he was turned down. Upon inquiry concerning this turn of events, Joe told him of his weight training and showed Steve his outdoor gym and weights in his back yard. Steve at once realized that here was what he had been looking for and immediately began training with Joe.

The progress he made from the first was very inspiring. and, having a fine framework for a well developed physique, Steve secretly started training for the top reward -- the "Mr America" title. Barbells became to him what baseball, football, etc. are to other young fellows. Steve literally lived for his training. He began buying all the magazines he could find, both new and back issues, with information on bodybuilding and today has a superb collection.

Steve realized his need for the best information available if he was to make the greatest gains toward a perfect physique. To this end he sought out Ed Yarick who has one of the oldest and most successful barbell gyms in California. Steve placed himself under Ed's expert supervision for several months. Then was away for a time only to return again to the gym to resume training. After two years training here, he enlisted in the army. During this period he had gained from 166 pounds to 190 pounds of super physique at 6 feet in height.

After six months training, Reeves was shipped to the Philippines. While there he contracted Malaria. He lost 20 pounds bodyweight from his first attack. Thereafter he had 7 more attacks. This placed him in very bad physical condition. It was shortly after this that he was sent to Japan. It was here that he was able to obtain a barbell set from the Japanese. For the first time in many months he was able to train again. He knew that his training would help him develop resistance to disease and return his lost bodyweight.

It was just 2 years and 2 days after he entered the service until he was discharged. When he returned home he went at once to Yarick's gym and trained with Ed again. Here he remained training hard until one month before he went to Chicago for the big "Mr. America" Contest.

Little had been heard of Steve until he won the "Mr. Pacific Coast'" contest staged in Portland of last December. Steve has always been very regular in his workouts ana any misses were noticed by Ed and the other pupils. One Sat. of December '46, Steve failed to show up for his workout. Ed thought this very irregular but thought he would wait until the next workout period before inquiring into the matter. On the next workout period for Steve, Tuesday night in he walked with two fine trophies for having won the "Mr. Pacific Coast" contest in Portland No one but Steve's Mother and a friend, Bob Weilick, who went with him, knew where he had gone. This is quite characteristic of Steve. He would much rather make his plans quietly and leave the shouting until after his victory.

Not knowing that he was eligible for the '"Mr. California" contest until too late, Steve did not enter. However he did enter the "Mr. Pacific Coast" contest held in Los Angeles. This was for the 1947 title. This he won also. Eric Pedersen, who won the "Mr California" contest placed second to Steve in this as he also did in the ""Mr. America" contest, the two of them tying in the latter contest and Steve winning by vote of the judges. Steve was quite confident of winning the "'Mr. America" contest and knew that he had trained the best he and his teacher knew how to win it.

Steve's mother has cooperated in every possible way to help her boy realize his ambition by giving him all possible encouragement, helping him keep his training and cooking the things he wanted the way he liked them. How fortunate other boys would be if their mothers took as much interest in their training efforts. She is very happy about Steve's triumphs and thankful for the kindness shown to her son wherever he has been. Steve is not fussy to cook for and likes plenty of salads, meat vegetables and milk. Previous to the training period for the contest, Steve drank one quart of milk per day, but while training for his big event, he greatly increased the quantity of milk consumed, realizing its value. He does not eat white bread, white flour products, candy or white sugar. He likes a lot of fresh fruit, and uses honey for sweets. He always gets lots of sleep each night for he needs plenty of rest when working out so heavily. His mother tells us that he has never had to have a doctor for he has always been in perfect health. His teeth are very beautiful and have not a single cavity.

Other than his training with barbells, which is his passion, he likes horse-back riding and likes to visit his aunt and uncle who have a ranch in Montana. He also likes swimming and sunbathing and has a very beautiful tan and a fine textured skin denoting vital health.

Steve has no favorite barbell exercises. He just likes lots of all kinds of exercise and hard work because he knows that only by hard work can one succeed. He has followed many programs during his 5 years of exercising but just before he left for the '"Mr. America" contest he was performing the following very strenuous program:

3 sets prone presses with wide grip.
3 sets of incline presses (a favorite invention of Ed Yarick)
2 sets of side presses.
2 sets of front raises.
2 sets of curl and press 3 sets of chins behind neck.
3 sets of Latissimus rowing on 45 degree pulleys. .
2 sets of triceps curls on the dorsi bench. .
2 sets of bent arm curl behind neck 2 sets of triceps bench curl.
6 sets of incline benc'h curls.
4 sets of squats.
4 sets of leg curls for leg biceps.
4 sets of calf raises on leg press mac'hine.
2 sets of good-morning exercise on roman chair.
Steve has never gone in for Olympic lifting in any form being interested only in bodybuilding. In his exercises he has worked up to 20 reps in half squats with 400 pounds. He did 6 repetitions with 70 pound dumbells on the incline curls. 20 reps in the calf raises with 450 pounds.

His before and after measurements are as follows:

    Before   After
Weight   166 lbs   213 lbs
Height   6 feet   6 feet
Neck   13½   17½
Chest normal   37   49½
Chest expanded   39½   51
Waist   30   29
Thighs   22½   25½
Calf   16   17¾
Arm   12¾   18
Although Steve has been a barbell man 5 years, yet only 3 years of this have been spent in hard training under Yarick. He is sure to improve a great deal more as the years pass. With his broad shoulders and narrow hips, he has acquired the nick name of "Lil Abner". We wish hi the best of everything in a life that is just beginning for him.


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ronMan, Vol 7, No 5, Page 12, est. Fall 1947

Mr America Contest 1947
(excerpts from Sr Nat Championships, Mr America Contest)
by Peary Rader
In the following story we have tried to give you a word picture of the Senior National Lifting Championships and the "Mr. America" contest so that you who did not have the privilege of attending can thrill to some of the experiences we had.
On the night of June 25th, ye editor left Alliance on a journey to view one of the greatest events in the lifting history of the U.S.A., the National Weightlifting Championships of 1947 which were held at the beautiful and spacious auditorium of the Lane Tech High School at Western Ave. and Addison St.

We had for long anticipated this event being one of the best, due to the great interest recently developed in our sport. We were not disappointed and came away wishing that more of you had been there to enjoy the meet. However, we are going to try to give you the story of the Championships by word and picture. Also a story of the "Mr. America" contest.

It was necessary that I leave a day early on the train due to the floods between here and Chicago which had washed out much of the track. I traveled over considerable detours and your Editor arrived in Chicago that day before the meet was to begin, or about noon on June the 27th. Mrs Rader, who usually goes to meets and helps so much, was unable to attend because of duties here at home. Therefore I was lost without her companionship.

I at once went out to the Lane High School and looked over the wonderful layout available for this meet. This school takes up several city blocks and has a tremendous and beautiful lawn in front that the contestants made good use of during the day in sun bathing and posing for the photographers who swarmed the place. I heard one fellow remark that there must have been 1,000 people on the lawn watching the contestants pose and taking photos. A record number of pictures were probably taken of this event this year. We will probably be showing some of them to you for some time. This high school, we understand, is the largest in the world and they have so many graduates each year that graduation exercises must be held on the athletic field. It is filled with all kinds of machinery and special equipment for teaching young men vocations that they might follow the life work they choose. It is our belief that if we had more such schools we would have fewer misfits in our social life and that a high school education would mean something other than just a diploma.

Mr. John Dolce, the Meet Director, and all his helpers did a wonderful job in preparing for and conducting the meet. Norbert Grubber, editor of "Chicago Bodybuilder", was in evidence at all times helping out whenever he could. Mr. Dolce as chairman of Weightlifting of the Central District had his committee busy most of the time. Too much credit can not be given them all for a difficult job well done. We believe that in many ways it was one of the best conducted meets in America.

After a look at the location of the meet I rushed back down town to hunt a room and none too soon it seems, but I finally found one at the huge YMCA Hotel which has about 3,000 rooms but is usually full. Some of the other boys who found rooms elsewhere were evicted to make room for another convention scheduled in Chicago at the same time.

The next day the meet was scheduled to start at 3 P. M. but the competitors were on hand early as were the "Mr. America" contestants who obligingly stripped and posed for the news reel men and other photographers. To help decorate the scene several models from the Patrica Stevens agency were on hand. Ordinarily these beautiful girls would be quite an attraction but it was to be noticed that when the muscle men came around, the enthusiasts crowded around them with all thought of beautiful gals gone from their mind. You will see some of these attractive young ladies in pictures illustrating this article.

Before the meet started Mr. Worttman called his committee and officials together to discuss rules and regulations for the meet as well as to discuss the World's Championships to be held in the latter part of September. This big event is coming to this country for the first time through the efforts and financial support of Bob Hoffman. Every barbell man and weight enthusiast owes it to the game, his country and Bob to put every effort behind this big meet. Talk it up. Try to get others to attend and BE SURE TO ATTEND IT YOURSELF. We'd like to see and meet all of you there.

After this meeting the weighing in of the athletes for the afternoon event took place. By the time this was over it was time for the meet to begin. [...]

Sun. JUNE 29th

Sunday was certainly a big day. A large number of the boys went to church in the morning but by noon they began to gather at the Lane Tech. High School, taking pictures, becoming acquainted and visiting. Many of the greats of the muscle world were there and such an array of might and muscle has probably never gathered in one spot before.

There was Bob Hoffman who acted as Master of Ceremonies part of the time while Joseph A. Paul acted the rest of the time. Mr. Paul is a hard worker in the Central District on all phases of the Iron Game. Dietrich Wortmann, our hard working chairman has done a great deal for our game these many years and leaves his large business a great deal that he might attend the meets and conventions of the game that is dear to his heart. He has developed a great deal of lifting talent in his Metropolitan District. There was LON, the man who supplies the magazines with the beautiful photographs. George Quaintance who does the art work for "Your Physique" and "Muscle Power". Bert Goodrich (the first "Mr. America") and his wife. Al Berger, bigger than ever (he looks like a giant) and why doesn't some one get him into competitive lifting? Chet Teegarden, associate editor for Iron Man and proprietor of "Strong Barbell Co". The great John Grimek, Steve Stanko bigger and better than ever. J.C. Hise with some new theories on body building. Alan Stephan and his wife, the former "Miss Legionaire". Alan is now quite busy with his new bodybuilding studio in Minneapolis and looks een better than he did last year when he won the title. Ray Van Cleef was there and busy with his work as associate editor of Strength and Health. Gord Venables, taking photos of everyone. I recall Gord's wonderful squat snatching of a few years ago. Leo Stern of San Diego, taking care of his boys from the west coast. Leo has a wonderful gym that he operates with his partner, Henry Fletcher in San Diego. We will have a lot to say of these boys when we write about our trip to the west coast. Harry (Bosco) Paschall and his wife were on hand as was Jack Libertore who acted as Master of Ceremonies for the "Mr. America" Contest. Charles A Ramsey that great trainer of colored lifting champions, was on hand. Mr. Ramsey spends much of his time traveling for a large Banking firm, but is now training some boys in New York. This man was once one of the world's greatest wrestlers and has wrestled every four hours in a match with the champion George Bothner. He trained on weights for many years in England with such famous athletes as Sandow, Saldo and others of like caliber. Tony Terlazzo was there and looking fine. Too bad that Tony can't lift for the U.S.A. in the coming world championships as we need a good lightweight. All these and many others were present. We regret that we do not have room to mention the names of all of them and tell you something of them but we just can't give more room to it this issue.


"Mr. America Contest"

All the posing that had been done on the huge lawn in front of the High School building had evidently been good advertising because on Sunday evening the big auditorium was nearly filled. The stage lighting had been carefully arranged by Al Urban, that Master Physique Photographer of Chicago. The muscular development of each contestant could be shown to best advantage this year.

New rules formulated by the A.A.U. were used this year in running off the event and it must be said that the entire show was smooth compared to other years. A nice platform was provided for each contestant to pose on. As Jack Libertore, the Master of Ceremonies, called the name of each contestant he came out from the wings and onto the platform under the carefully arranged lights and was allowed three poses of his own choice of 15 seconds each. In this manner the large number of contestants were quickly run through. All judges, appointed by the National Chairman Mr. Dietrich Wortmann, sat down in front where they could have an excellent view. All selections were made by points and a card system was used for the tabulations.

After the men had all posed a number were called back to pose again and two in particular who were tied, Reeves and Pedersen. Although the audience had not been told what they had tied for they had guessed that it was for the "Mr. America" title and not some of the subdivisions. Most certainly it was a problem to choose between these two magnificent physiques. Pedersen, who won the "Mr. California" title a short time ago, is a blond giant who has almost perfection of development. Earle Leiderman who was a good personal friend of Sandow, tells me that Eric greatly reminds him of the great Eugen Sandow. He has beautiful abdominal formation. His arms are unbelievable, especially that biceps which appears to be two baseballs placed one on top of the other. His deltoids and pectorals leave little to be desired. His separation is unequalled. Eric is only 18 now and has his eye on next year's contest when he plans to be better than ever.

Steve Reeves on the other hand, is a brunet with a dark tan and is somewhat taller than Eric. He has a tremendous breadth of shoulder, perhaps the widest appearing we have ever seen. His hips appear slender, although they actually are not, compared to other men, but it is his wide shoulders that make them appear so. Here is a man who looks the part in his street clothes as well as under the lights, posing. Many people are greatly impressed with the shape and development of his entire leg. He has very fine calves. His posing routine is very good. He has a pleasing smile and stage personality. The judges found it impossible to choose between these two and gave each 72 points out of a possible 75. Thus it was necessary to vote for the "Mr. America" and in the vote, Steve won. Steve also won the best back award. His back is very wide and Is superbly developed as photos we will show of him indicate. Eric Pedersen won the title "Most Muscular Man" as well as the "Most Muscular Arms". In talking to him after the show. he seemed as well pleased with these, awards as if he had won the "Mr. America" title. Score for "Most Muscular Man" title was 30 points for Pedersen and 29 for Reeves so here again they almost tied.

Joe Lauriano again won the "Best Abdominals". He certainly has a magnificent abdominal development. His rectus abdominus muscles are very thick. His external oblique muscles form great rolls of muscle around the crest of the Illum or hip bone. Joe seemed to be more massive and shapely than ever before and is a great favorite with the audience. He placed 3rd in the "Mr. America" contest.

John Farbotnik was better than ever this year, showing more muscle mass than ever and his chest seemed even deeper and more heavily muscled than last year if that were possible. Again he won the "Best Chest" award and the 4th place in the "Mr. America" event.

George Eiferman of Philadelphia, won 5th place in the "Mr. America" and probably had the heaviest pectoral development of anyone there. They look especially large when you are standing close to him. They must be 2 1/2 inches in depth.

Kimon Voyages of New York again took the "Best Legs" award. This boy who is built like a hercules all over, certainly has marvelous legs. He also placed 6th in the "Mr. America" contest. Kim has won the best legs title for many years now and we wonder just how long he can continue. He has earned it though, with all the heavy leg exercise he has performed to develop his legs. He has won this one award at the "Mr. America" contest more than anyone else has ever won the same title. Probably Lauriano comes second with his abdominals.

Russell Field of the Goodrich gym in Hollywood, has a marvelous physique. He is very massive and well proportioned, but does not have as much separation as some of the others. With more separation he would make the best of them look to their laurals.

Alex Kigas who recently won the "Mr. Chicago" title, has a wonderful upper body but rather slender legs. He is working hard to develop them to compare with his upper body. Next year he should be serious competition. Dan Bax of Niagara Falls, N. Y. is a very massive little fellow. Not very tall, he has the measurements of a heavyweight and is very impressive, although he hasn't the separation that some of the others have.

Big John McWilliams was there. He was the largest man in the "Mr. America" competition. His arms were by far the largest, being slightly over 19 inches cold. His shoulder breadth is terrific and his chest like a huge barrel. His injured leg is much improved over last year and almost the same size as the other one. Mac looks very large dressed too. Truly a man of high character, intelligence, and super physique.

After the posing and while the points were being counted, the last year's "Mr. America" Alan Stephan, came on the stage and thrilled the audience with his amazing development and magnetic personality. He and his beautiful wife both posed for the photographers. Then he and his wife and Steve Reeves posed together. Another popular athlete and the first "Mr. America" came on and displayed his fine physique in some well selected poses. Bert Goodrich still retains his fine development and gets bigger each year even though he is no longer a young man and can't devote as much time to his training as he used to. His fine gym where Pedersen, Field, Leiderman and others train, keeps him quite busy. His wife, who is a school teacher in Hollywood, was with him and they were making a trip of the country in their new car.

Another favorite "Mr. America", Steve Stanko, came up and gave a very impressive posing exhibition. Never have we seen more impressive arms on anyone. They are unbelievable. Steve has put up a great fight to develop his super physique and is to be congratulated.

The audience called for Grimek at intervals throughout the evening and finally John came to the "Mike" and explained that he preferred not to pose at "Mr. America" meets because of the hard feelings that might sometimes be caused and that he preferred to sit in the audience and enjoy the show with the rest of the boys. Too many people fail utterly to understand John's position.

Two very good balancing and dancing acts were presented after the show during the tabulation of points.

We almost forgot to mention that J. C. Hise followed Grimek on the stage and taking off his shirt he displayed his massiveness. There was no doubt but what he has the widest back there that night. As Joe says, "I haven't the shape of the other boys. but I sure got size and mass". Joe weighed about 275 which is some poundage at his height of 5 feet 10 inches.

After the event was officially over, many still remained while the news reel men and photographers exposed a great deal of film on the competitors and the Patrica Stevens models. These girls are to be commended for their patience and charm. They sat on the big stage throughout the entire event and then posed for photographers until almost midnight when everyone left happy and joyous at having seen one of the greatest shows of strength and physical perfection ever presented.

Results of "Mr. America" Contest

Karo Whitfield, Atlanta, Ga.
Charles M Postl, Chicago.
Dr. Dudley Crafts Watson, Chicago.
Larry Barnholth, Akron.
Roy S. Armstrong, Chicago.
Herman J. Fisher, Chicago.
Vern Heinlund. Chicago
D. K. Penny, Chicago.
Al Urban, Chicago.
Points Earned By Contestants
1   Steve Reeves   Oakland, Cal   72
2   Eric Pedersen   Hollywood   72
3   Joe Lauriano   York   70
4   John Forbotnik   Philadelphia   69
5   George Eifferman   Philadelphia   68
6   Kimon Voyages   N.Y.C.   68
7   Ed SImon   Dallas   65
8   Alex Kigas   Chicago   64
9   Russ Fields   Hollywood   63
10   Keevil Daly   Harlem   63
11   Valerio Pasqua   N.Y.C.   61
12   Joseph Thaler   N.Y.C.   61
13   Kenneth Graham      60
14   Joe Shaw      59
15   Bruno Markunas   Chicago   59
16   Moss McCray   Cinn.   59
17   Gene Jantzen   Bartelso   58
18   John McWilliams   Columbus   58
19   Mike Dubel   Detroit   57
20   John Morley   Cheshire   57
21   Lyle Fox   Kansas City   57
22   Bill Custer   Chicago   57
23   Ricardo Fernandez   Cuba   56
24   Yas Kuzuhara   Chicago   55
25   Gene Gohatey   Chicago   55
26   Ed Banaszewski   Kenosha   55
27   Al Pasqua      53
28   Frank Troha   Barbarton   53
29   George Labausky   Easton   53
30   Dan Bax   Niagara Falls   52
31   Mario Anosky   Chicago   52
32   Ed Francis      50
33   John Ford      45
34   Ray Miller      45
35   John Apostol      40
36   Russ Carrol   Chicago   39


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #433 on: October 09, 2020, 12:53:06 PM »
Muslce Power, Vol 3 No 4, September 1947, pae 26, September 1947

Mr. America - 1947
by Bert Goodrich, Photographed by Lon Hanagan
(Bert Goodrich is the first Mr. Ameirca. His coverage of the latest show of June 28-29 is herewith presented with inside informations . . . Editor)
When I arrived in Chicago on the evening of June 27th, just a day prior to the great show, I met more famous athletes than I ever anticipated. It seemed as though each street found several strolling along; but the next morning of the first day of the contest, the whole gang were gathered on the lawn of the Lane High School, where untold enthusiasm was displayed as the muscular marvels posed in the bright sunlight for a flock of photographers. There was Grimek, Stanko, Terpak, Van Cleef, Lauriano, Fields, Pedersen, DePietro and numerous others - too many to mention. And to add glamour to this anatomical setting, there were a flock of feminine bathing beauties which kept the newsreel camera men grinding overtime. These newsmen seemed to be parital to George EIferman, John Farbotnik, Eric Pedersen, Kimon Voyages, Russel Field, Lyle Fox and Russ Carroll as well as the great Grimek. Many old-timers were among the spectators and it was indeed a rare treat to witness such an array of physical perfection . But I must get into the show.

The weightlifting meet started at 3 P.M. Saturday June 28th and the 123 lb. class opened festivities. Joe DePietro won this with a total of 615 lbs. Joe also established a national record of 220 1/4 lbs. in the military press. What a lifter this DePietro is! Ed Goyette placed second with a total of 570 and Anthony Vega got third with 555 lbs. But brevity compels that I skip much of the lifting details, yet I must mention that Terpak, in the 181 lb. class, totaled 840, with Spellman next totalling 835, and Harold Sakata of Honolulu doing 805 lbs. The rivalry between Terpak and Spellman was terrific and it surely was a mighty thrill to see Terpak finally defeat Spellman in a last sensational lift of 330 lbs in a clean and jerk. And finally a 900 total was made by the great John Davis who ran away with the heavyweight division.

By the time this reaches print, you will all have known of the winners of the Mr. America contest and the runner-ups, but perhaps a little inside information which I fortunately secured, may enlighten readers as to how the judging was done. First there was the point scoring, with a possible 75 points as top perfection. And the following list of contestants and their points as awarded by the judges is worth absorbing:

Place   Name   Points   Affiliation
1   Steve Reeves   72   Ed Yarick Gym, Calif.
2   Eric Pedersen   72   B Goodrich Gym, Calif.
3   Joe Lauriano   70   York Barbell Club, York, Penn.
4   John Farbotnik   69   Fritshe Gym, Penn.
5   George Eiferman   68   Fritshe Gym, Penn.
6   Kimon Voyages   68   Bal's Gym, New York
7   Alex Kigas   64   Central "Y", Chicago
8   Russ Field   63   Goodrich Gym, Calif.
9   Pat Graham   60   Unattached
10   Gene Jantzen   58   Unattached
And that is the way the winner and the others were selected. As you may note that Steve Reeves and Eric Pedersen were tied for first place. Eric had 30 points for muscularity and Reeves 29 points, but after long deliberation by the judges, Steve Reeves was proclaimed Mr. America, and so the better man won! Though Eric Pedersen was trained by me, and naturally my 'pet boy', still I feel that Reeves deserved the title and I was among the first to heartily congratulate him. He's a swell fellow, with a swell development and has great personality. I salute him! However, I might modestly impart that Eric Pedersen won the most trophies -- for the most muscular development, for the best arms, and a second award for almost becoming the winner. Reeves also won a trophy for the best back. Farbotnik secured the award for the best chest, Kim Voyages won the best legs.

Fortunately I obtained Steve Reeves measurements . . . neck 17 5/8, chest 49 1/2, expanded 50 3/4, biceps 18, waist 29, forearm flexed 16, thigh 25 1/4, calf 17 1/8, height 6 ft.1 in. and weight 213 pounds.


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #434 on: October 09, 2020, 12:53:42 PM »
Muslce Power, Vol 3 No 7, Page 26, December 1947

Steve Reeves, Mr. America 1947
by Gene Jantzen
ONE of the most astonishing muscle men ever to make his appearance at a best physique contest is Steve Reeves of Oakland, California. His Li'I-Abner type physique, tremendous shoulders and latissimus muscles tapering into a wasp like waist of scarcely 29 inches, makes the beholder gasp with amazement. His hips are narrow of course, and his legs are truly phenomenal. The thighs are well developed with plenty of separation, and the calves are every bit of eighteen inches, with definition that is tout of this world. Steve started to work on his calves when he was ten years old, but more about that later. Of course you know that Steve won the Mr. America crown in June, from the largest group of muscle men yet to compete in a best built man contest anywhere. I doubt that there was one man in the contest who did not believe that Reeves would win, after seeing him. For months I had been hearing about this West Coast giant by mail and by word of mouth. Few people had seen him or his pictures, but they had all heard about him. The West Coast and its sunshine has produced a lot of terrific physiques, but this man Reeves is the most striking example so far. He is the most perfect personification of what weight training can do that we have seen in many a day. I heard many comments when he was going through his routine such as, "I've never seen anything like it", "I can't believe it", "He's out of this world", etc. The audience was truly amazed. Steve is also handsome. His face is about as perfect as they come, with regular strong features that fit his physical development to the letter. He has all of the physical assets that go to make up a truly phenomenal muscle man. He has a lot of native intelligence and plenty of ambition. I see no reason why Steve should not hit the top in any profession if he sets his mind to it. I learned to know him quite well during the few days we spent together in Chicago, and from his conversation I gathered that he has always been ambitious. He has always chosen the straight narrow road rather than the easiest one. Reeves has worked hard to build the body he has and I am sure he will continue to work hard to succeed in his chosen profession, whatever that might be.

Steve Reeves was born in Oakland, California, twenty years ago. He was a very average child physically, except in this, that he always liked to try the hard way when it came to physical ability. When he was ten he had a paper route which he covered with a bicycle. His bicycle was a very important piece of equipment in his young life and it is responsible for the terrific calves he displays today. When Young Steve came to a steep hill with his bike, he did not follow the example of his playmates who dismounted and pushed their wheels to the top, instead he set his jaw, pedaled three times as hard as usual and rode to the top. He was also in the habit of riding his friends around on the handlebars of his bike arid of carrying heavy loads of papers along his route. In all of his pedal pushing Steve used the ball of his foot on the pedal, rather than the arch, another point which aided greatly in his calf development. I have always claimed that one needs to start at a very young age to develop really large calves and Steve agrees with me. No doubt there are those among our readers who will say that they rode a bike when they were ten and younger and have very average calves today. My answer to them would be, you did not ride hard enough or often enough and you did not follow through on your leg development in later years. Steve did all three of these things, and he stayed on his toes while doing them. Today he displays a pair of calves that take your breath away. Even though Reeves was an ambitious young lad he developed a bad habit which many tall people are subject to, that of walking with a slouch. Drooping shoulders and a rounded back became so much a part of Steve's child hood appearance that his mother threatened to make him wear shoulder braces if he didn't straighten up. This condition was soon corrected once Steve became acquainted with body building at Castlemont High School, his favorite institution of learning. It was here that Steve first learned the value of chinning, push-ups, climbing the rope, etc. This period of initial training was a sort of hardening period just prior to his being introduced to weight training. Steve says it was his "prelude to weight lifting" and points it out as being the most important phase of his work, because it instilled in him the burning desire to excel physically. "Had it not been for the body building equipment at Castlemont" Steve says, "I might never have gotten the bug. I owe my old Alma Mater a lot of thanks". However, according to Steve's own words his greatest debt of gratitude belongs to his mother. "She is the one who kept me going when the rough times came along. She is the one who encouraged and inspired me with her good advice and kindness. She has been my greatest inspiration." This is what Steve has to say for his mother, and it sounds mighty good. Many a mother could take an example from Mrs. Reeves and do the same for her young son. Too many mothers discourage their youngsters when it comes to weight training, yet they think it is wonderful that their boys play football, regardless of the fact that they do so without any supervision, at an age when there is a very great danger or serious injury. This danger does not exist in weight training, but the possibilities of becoming America's best built man -- do exist.

Castlemont High was also the scene of Steve's first introduction to Barbells. This occurred when he was sixteen years of age. At first the weights were slightly more than a curiosity and Reeves did little more than fool around with them for the first few months. He soon realized their real value however and began a regular training schedule when he was sixteen and one-half years of age. At that time Steve weighed 156 stripped, he was six feet tall, his neck was 13 1/2", chest 37 1/2", expanded 39 1/2", waist 30", thigh 22", calf 16", wrist 7 1/4", ankle 9 1/2" and knee 13 1/2". Keep those measurements in mind and watch what happened. Steve used as much weight as he could handle for each exercise of ten reps and his initial training program included only one set or each exercise. In other words he started out right. He took it in his stride and did not try to overload his body with too much exercise at a time when his system needed most of its energy for growing and for normal development.

This is Steve's first work-out program. Warm up exercise: ten reps, 60 pound clean, military press 60 pounds ten reps, prone press 70 pounds, rowing ex. 60 pounds, reverse curl 30 pounds, regular curl 40 pounds, squats 100 pounds, breathing dumbbell pull over 20 pounds, good morning exercise 60 pounds, breathing lateral raise 10 pounds each hand. All of these exercises were done in ten rep. sets, one set only of each. As soon as Reeves reached twelve reps in anyone exercise he increased the weight five pounds and dropped back to ten reps. This program was followed for the first nine months of his training after which he used the same exercises, the same system of increasing poundages and the same number of reps, but he did two sets of each exercise instead of one set. This second training period lasted another six months, when again he changed his work routine to the following system. Warm-up with dead hang cleans, upright rowing, prone press, one arm rowing, a set of laterals, each of which was repeated for three sets of ten or twelve reps with as much weight as he could handle. Then he did four sets of inclined presses, started with heavy weight and worked down. These reps were done very rapidly and with little rest between sets. Then the pulley triceps curl and the reverse curl were executed ten reps of each, then four sets of dumbbell. curls seated, next a set of full squats and pullover on bench, then a set of half-squats and pullover on bench, ten reps in each case. His work-out was concluded with a set of good morning exercises, again ten or twelve reps. Steve does all of his squats with a two or three inch board under his heels. This is, of course, the best way to practice full squats. Steve discovered this fact on his own, because he used to do squats in high heeled field boots and found that the exercise was of far, greater value when done in this manner. This last system of training was followed for another nine months, rounding out his first two years of training. His weight was now 203, he Was six foot one inch tall, neck 17 1/4",chest 47 1/2", waist 29", biceps 17 1/4", hips 37", thigh 24 1/2, calf 17 1/4".

After two years of body building Reeves was inducted into the service. He was stationed in the states for five months and then shipped to the Philippines, in the Twenty-fifth Combat Division of the Infantry. In June of '45 Steve contracted malaria and had seven very severe attacks of it during the next seven months. During this time his weight dropped from 205 to 170 pounds. Prior to his malaria attacks his weight and measurements had remained the same as they were when he was inducted. After a month or two of malaria Steve was transferred to the Quartermaster Corps and in March of '45 he was sent to Japan as part of the occupation troops. Up to this time he had had no chance whatever to train with weights and sick as he was, very little incentive. However, in Japan he began to feel like himself again and with the war over and a new lease on life, he decided to do something about his muscles and more. So, typical of a weight trained man he took the bull by the horns, and found himself a Japanese interpreter who took him to a foundry. There he designed and gave instructions for construction of a 210 pound barbell set, for which he paid one hundred dollars in American money. These he kept under his bed in his barracks. Then he built an exercise bench which passed army inspections, because it looked enough like an ironing board to fool the inspecting officers. Actually the bench was often used as an ironing board. Steve says it was a success both ways. He also managed to acquire several mirrors which were hung near his bed and so you see there was a well equipped body building studio in the heart of Japan. Reeves used this setup for his work-outs the last six months of his career in the service. During this time he increased his body weight from 170 to 195 Ibs. In Sept. 1946 he returned home.

Home once more, Steve renewed his training with gusto. He began to work out at the famous LaLanne Gym and within a few weeks be was back to 205. In December, '46 he entered and won the "Mr. Pacific Coast contest'" in Portland, Oregon. He continued to train and to gain and in May of '47 he again won the title "Mr. Pacific Coast". His greatest ambition has always been to compete in a Mr. America contest, which ambition he now realized and with the greatest success he could have hoped for. Steve also won the best back award. He was an audience choice as well as the choice of the judges for the Mr. America title.


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #435 on: October 09, 2020, 12:54:14 PM »
our Physique, Vol 7, No 6, Page 8, September 1947

Results of the 1947 Mr. America Contest
by Lon Hanagan
ON Sunday evening, June 29th at Lane High School in Chicago the annual Mr. America show was presented. The place was thronged with body enthusiasts from all parts of our country. This was to be the event that everyone was anxiously anticipating since last year's meet when the superb Alan Stephan carried off the honors.

Who would win this time? How, would he compare with the previous winners? Would he be a perennial favorite such as Lauriano, Jantzen, Voyages, Farbotnik? -- or perhaps, like last year, some new unknown marvel would appear to snatch the laurel wreath of America's best developed man from these established favorites! ! !

There is no doubt but that there was an abundance of great material in this year's show. I did not envy the judges their lot in choosing the best from such a fine group of male pulchitrude. However, in due justice to the efforts these contestants have made, I feel that they were let down in the presentation of this show that they had been working so hard for. The stage setting was flat, perfectly plain as for the weight-lifting that preceded the contest, except for a step-up platform which the contestants were to pose on. The lighting was adequate and revealed the full figure.

First of all we were given a parade of young girl models -- each taking their place on a chair at the rear of the stage -- why? That is the 64 dollar question. I have never heard of a male beauty parade at the Miss America contests, and certainly it was a test of the power of concentration of the audience to keep eyes on the contestants as they went through their poses, while the attractive young beauties occupied the back of the stage. .

One by one, the contestants as announced by the master of ceremonies paraded to the center and ascended the platform to give us their three poses (front, back and optional). The judging was by the point system with 75 as the perfect total. The highest points received were 72, and, for these there was a tie between Steve Reeves and Eric Pedersen. The two boys were later brought out for comparison with each other, and after much deliberation the judges agreed to name Reeves as the winner.

There is no doubt in my mind (or anyone else's I believe) but what Steve Reeves justly deserved the title of MR. AMERICA. He was the phenomenon of the evening -- and from his first step onto the platform, the show was his. Seldom, if ever, does one perceive such perfection as this. From head to toe, here was the personification of manly perfection. I was mainly impressed by Steve's fine leg development, the best I've seen since Grimek and Pat Ryan. This boy Reeves has shape plus! ! !

Eric Pedersen was awarded second place. This young California boy has made a great name for himself this year, which speaks well for the fine training he must get at the Bert Goodrich gym.

Third place was given to Joe Lauriano of York, Pa. I was surprised to note that Joe did not give us a pose featuring his wonderful abdominals. Joe possesses the most outstanding abdominal and external oblique muscles. Joe can also take a bow for some of the finest posing in the entire show. Joe rated 70 points from the judges.

The impressive John Farbotnik of Chicago was fourth with a total of 69 points. Fifth and sixth places were tied for by George Eiferman of Philadelphia and Kimon Voyages of New York. Again, after due deliberation here also, the judges favored Eiferman. Runners up were as follows: seventh -- Alex Kigas of Chicago-64 points; eighth -- Russ Field-63 points; ninth -- Pat Graham-60 points; tenth -- Gene Jantzen -- 58 points. All of these boys were mighty impressive. I might mention that I think that George Eiferman of Philadelphia should have rated higher. I found his physique to be on a par with the best. He had the best pectoral development of any contestant, and he also displayed a marvelous all-over development, I think this boy will one day be a Mr. America in his own right. He trains at John Fritshe's gym in Philly, and recently won the Mr. Philadelphia title. Watch this boy Eiferman! He's tops!

I was disappointed that the judges seemed to overlook the fine physique of Keevil Daley in awarding the points. Surely, his poses were great and his physique of winning caliber Keevil is Mr. New York State of this year -- and in my honest opinion displayed the most muscular back, as far as definition goes, of any contestant. The audience gasped audibly as he posed -- a fact which George Quaintance as well as myself took especial note of. George came along with me to advise on the photos used in the recent MUSCLE POWER article on the show. We both felt that Keevil would surely rate some award, and were disappointed not to find him in the list of winners.

A new boy, unfamiliar to me, by the name of Russ Field also impressed me as one to watch. This Field has got something great about him that bears promise of future fulfillment. Good luck to you, Rus. Keep it up! ! !

Gene Jantzen, as usual pleased the audience with his posing. He seemed heavier to me, but he carried it very well Yes, this contest was surely filled with really GREAT contestants.

As to the staging, I feel the audience must have noticed the awkwardness of the whole affair. First of all, there was a mad scramble of photographers in the orchestra pit. No distinction was made for press or amateur-all were herded together in a confusing group that constantly interfered with the views of the judges. In other sporting events, special place, is made for the press. Why not here also? We hope that this will be corrected at the next Mr. America show, and that legitimate writers and photographers will have a reserved spot up front where they will not be heckled by anyone who carries a camera, for reasons or not.

Why cannot a Mr. America show be a REAL show. A little theatrical atmosphere would not hurt a bit. Everyone should be kept off the stage during the performance except the contestants. There were too many conflicting people walking around the wings and poking their faces out. No theatre performance would allow this. Let's get away from the ordinary, this Mr. America show should be planned and produced with much more "finesse." I also noticed that oil on the bodies was forbidden. This left the bodies "flat" in appearance unless the contestant was lucky enough to possess an oily skin, I think that a little oil rubbed over the body gives it that extra "sparkle" which enhances the muscular development and produces a more perfect picture to the eye. Also, it is hardly fair to judge a fellow with a wonderful tan against one whose skin is chalk white. Naturally the tanned body is more effective -- so why not be fair and give our pale friend, who probably works indoors and gets little chance for sunning, a better chance by letting him don a little tan make up. After all, you can't add muscles, so this is still fair. I have seen contests where a fellow outscores another who is really better because he has a deep tan, and for the moment at least is more impressive because of it. This is hardly fair to the pale boy-so, if he doesn't have time for a real tan, let him make his own temporarily at least. Then we can honestly compare. Let's give everyone a chance to be his best. At a Miss America contest I'm sure that if no makeup were allowed, we could see a drab procession of females. Naturally, I don't approve of facial makeup on men, but surely a little oil on the body is far from effeminate. Who started this oil-on-body business anyhow? Our history tells us of the Greek athletes who always rubbed olive oil on the body to give it a healthy glow. These old Greeks were bodily perfectionists. I think we can take a tip from them.

I am sure if one of these Ancient Greeks came to life today and saw our new MR. AMERICA, Steve Reeves -- he would find it hard to believe that Steve was not a re-incarnation of the body of one of those, superior beings from Mount Olympus. Yes, Mr. and Mrs. American public, we have a great winner this year in Steve Reeves. There are great things ahead for this boy, and I can see him following the star-dust trail to Mount Olympus. Good Luck, MR. AMERICA of 1947.


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #436 on: October 12, 2020, 11:31:16 AM »

1948 Mr America - AAU

1     George Eiferman
2     Jack Delinger
3     Elias Rodriguez
4     Bill Melby
5     James B Smith (1)
6     Victor Nicoletti
7     Joe Lauriano
8     Malcolm Brenner
9     Stan Stanczyk
10     Max Croft
11     Lowell Jennings
12     Alex Carrisosa

Most Muscular
1     Elias Rodriguez


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #437 on: October 12, 2020, 11:32:29 AM »
IronMan, Vol 8, No 2, Page 8, July 1948

Mr America of 1948
George Eiferman
by John Fritshe
One sunny day in July 1946, I was in my yard back of gym soaking up some of these life giving rays commonly known as sunshine. My assistant came out to tell me there was a prospect in the gym looking things over I went in and as soon as I entered a broadly smiling sailor came over to shake hands and introduce himself as George Eiferman. Telling me he had heard a lot about my work and the gym. Now that he was going to be stationed in his home town Philadelphia and expecting a discharge soon, he wanted to know if he could join the gym. "Of course" was the answer, "go and change and come into my office to get measured". It did not take him long. When he came in I was amazed and somewhat speechless. Thinking to myself: "What a physique for a beginner, what fertile fields to tail." People who are physical instructors will know just what I mean. It is not every day students come in with potentialities as did George. Naturally I was anxious to know what he had done before he came to me. Willingly and with his usual sense of humor he said "I'll start from the beginning." Here is his story repeated as well as I can remember it.

"I was born" he stated "November 3rd 1925, a seven months baby." Jokingly he added, "I was in a hurry so I could start training for the Mr. America title. My mother's good care and cooking soon had me around to a normal healthy boy. I was always very active in all the sports a healthy kid is interested in. After entering Olney High School, I spent most of my time in the gym or on the football field. I liked football very much and played on the team for some time. On my seventeenth birthday in 1942, I joined the navy to help in the big scrap. After boot training, we shipped out to sea. On board ship is where I first got introduced to bar bell training. Not much to speak of though. We had very little equipment, long rough periods at sea and prowling around in dangerous enemy zones made our training very irregular. Whenever we hit port, which was few and far between, I'd always look up a gym ,or a friend who had a set of iron. Weight lifting got into my blood and I was dying to do some steady training. Now with the war being over and me getting my discharge, my wish finally comes true. John since you have trained so many outstanding men, I want you to be my instructor and show me the finer points of bar bell training." I told George that he was off to a flying start and began measuring him. Chest normal 42, expanded 43½, arm normal 14, flexed 15½, forearm 12¼, wrist 7 1/8, neck 15½ waist 33, hips 40, thigh 23¼, calf 15, ankle 9½, body weight 180 and height 5' '7½". I told him he had the stuff but some of it in the wrong places. "Well", he said, "write me out a program and I promise to follow it to the letter". I did just that paying special attention to his abdominals and hips which were very much out of shape. Also his chest, although having pronounced pectoral development it was not deep enough to suit me. George did not do much training that day since we had wasted a lot of time talking. He did a few exercises though, everyone on the floor at that time stopped and gazed not believing their eyes. On the sneak they would come to me and ask the usual questions that are, asked when some new outstanding fellow starts in. It did not take long for him to get acquainted since George is a friendly and likeable chap. After his shower he told me, "You will see a lot of me from now on, John. I like the fellows here at your place and want to get some serious training in."

He was not kidding, exercising like clock work was his motto. It did not take him long to show the results we were after. One day in November of that year he came in as happy as can be saying, "today is my 21st birthday and as a present they made me a civilian again. Now I can really start training." So he did. Whenever he had a chance he'd be in the gym working out. Once in a while switching his exercise program for more results. For the Mr. Philadelphia contest in March 1947 he shaped up as follows. Bodyweight 186, height 5' 7½", chest normal 44¼, expanded 46¼, upper arm normal 14 5/8, flexed 16¼, forearm 13, wrist 7 3/8, neck 16, waist 31, hips 38½, thigh 24 3/8, calf 15 5/8, ankle 9¾. George won that title without a question in anyone's mind, that he was the winner. I can tell you Eiferman was one happy boy that night. At the Mr. America contest in Chicago, he placed 5th. He came home apologizing to me because he did not do any better. All his hopes were now set on the Mr. Universe to be held in his home town, Philadelphia, September of last year. George did not expect to win, but hoped for a 2nd or 3rd place. We, here at the gym at the night of the show, wished him and John Farbotnik, who is his training mate, the best of luck. The results of that contest are known to everyone. In my opinion and many whom I have spoken to, George should have placed better than 5th. Of course there were enough men judging the contest and they should know who looked best. This did not discourage him any. He always tells me he is still young and there will be many more contests. A few months ago George left to train with the famous York champions in the hopes of improving himself in his healthful hobby, and perhaps some day profession. All men training with weights have their pet exercises. Here are some of George's favorites: Squats (best 450), supine press on bench (330) on floor (350), press behind neck (235), and all types of dipping movements for the pectorals. Of course he does a lot of other exercises to round out his schedule for all around development. George was in the other day telling me he is leaving for California and promised to be back for the Mr. Philadelphia contest to be held April 9th at Town Hall 150 N. Broad St., Philadelphia. "While we were talking", he mentioned he was going to the west coast to meet some of their champions and get some of that good old sunshine. I took the opportunity to take some more of his pictures and also get his present measurements which are as follows: Body weight 195, height same, chest normal 47, expanded 49, upper arm 15½, flexed 17 1/8, forearm 13¼, wrist 7 3/8, neck 16½, waist 31, hips 38½, thigh 24 7/8, calf 15¾, ankle 9¾. These measurements show George is constantly improving and will go places in the future. He has not only an outstanding physique but also a number one personality. No matter who he meets or wherever he goes, he will make friends. George Eiferman is a real credit to the game. I hope that some, day he will be crowned MR. AMERICA.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The type for this article was set up before we went out to the Nationals and "Mr. America" contest and we told George that he would do us a favor if he won, as we had his story already set up. Though it was a close fight with Dellinger he came out on top and as some remarked "It couldn't happen to a nicer fellow." We believe that George is as well liked by his fellow contestants as any "Mr. America" we have ever had. We know that he will bring honor, respectability and dignity to the title he has won. He worked very hard for the contest out in Vic Tanny's gym in Santa Monica. He looked better than ever and his choice was quite popular with the audience.

There are a lot of other things we'd like to tell you about George, but one little item may give you an insight into the character of the man who has won the title of "Mr. America" for 1948. George told me that he would stay on the west coast for another month then would hurry back to Philadelphia because he was anxious to get out into the Pocono Mountains where he teaches Physical Education each summer to a group of boys at a private boys' camp. He stated that he enjoys working with these boys and being out in the mountains very much. After the summer camp is over he will return to the west coast to make his home. George, we congratulate you on your victory. We wish you the best and know that you will be the kind of "Mr. America" we can all be proud of.

Since George started training for the meet his measurements have increased above those given in this article. His arm is now a full 17½ cold with 47½ chest and 25 inch thigh. Neck 16½, waist 31, calf 16 and bodyweight 195.



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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #438 on: October 12, 2020, 11:33:27 AM »
1949 Mr America - AAU

1     Jack Delinger
2     Melvin Wells
3     Bill Melby
4     Harry Smith
5     Valerio Pasqua
6     Jim Krznarich
6     Stan Stanczyk
6     Kimon Voyages
9     Everett Sinderoff
10     Joe Shaw

Most Muscular
1     Melvin Wells



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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #439 on: October 12, 2020, 11:34:11 AM »
Strength & Health, Page 12, June 1949

Jack Delinger Wins "Mr. America"
by Ray Van Cleef
THE audience was tense with excitement as Jack Libertore, the master of ceremonies for the physique competition, stepped forward to the "mike" to announce the winners of the "Mr. America contest. This was the moment everyone was anxiously and impatiently awaiting. The suspension was prolonged a bit by revealing the position of the first five men in reverse order. Thunderous applause greeted the announcement that Jack Delinger was selected as "Mr. America" of 1949. Had the decision been otherwise there would have been disappointments galore. It was evident from the instant this handsome hercules from Oakland, representing Yarick's Gym, stepped up on the posing pedestal that he was the popular choice of the spectators. No other athlete in the tournament rivalled the response accorded Delinger by the audience. His massive shapely muscles had the fans spellbound with admiration as he assumed his favorite poses in the competition.

Delinger's victory was a decisive one. No other "Mr. America" winner, with the exception of John Grimek in the 1941 contest, placed so far ahead of his rivals in the scoring. The applause accorded him certainly indicated that the spectators agreed wit the high rating he received from the judges. Considering the high calibre of the majority of the contestants, the conclusiveness of Delinger's success is particularly outstanding. His official score closely approached being perfect for he received a total of 73 1/2 out of a possible 75 points.

This victory fulfills a goal Jack Delinger was striving for several years to attain. In the 1946 "Mr. America" event at Los Angeles he was virtually unknown nationally. By placing high he came into sudden prominence in physique circles. Was 18 years old and a novice at the time for this was the first contest he competed in. Last year he was a close second to George Eiferman. Jack's chances in the 1948 event were somewhat marred by the distorted impressions conveyed through the deliberately slow manner in which he walked and posed on stage. He was following the well intended but misguided advice of a former "Mr. America" title holder. Needless to say, Jack did not repeat this mistake in the competition at Cleveland.

Attaining this pinnacle of success in the "Mr. America"" event was achieved through years of arduous body building and many sacrifices. Jack's perseverance bore the fruit of a well deserved victory. This blond Adonis with his herculean development exemplifies the physical type that constitutes an ideal "Mr. America" to a multitude of body builders throughout the world.

Melvin Wells placed second with a score of 63 1/2 points. The enthusiastic response that greeted this muscular marvel in the competition was only surpassed by that accorded Jack Delinger. A month earlier this new physique sensation won the "Mr. New York State" title by a comfortable margin. At Cleveland he again justified the praise that has been showered on him so liberally since he came into sudden prominence at Bob Hoffman's birthday show in York last November. His unassuming nature is particularly evident in a contest of this kind. The majority of the contestants are puffed up like a pouter pigeon when exposed to the audience. Some make themselves ludicrous with the exaggerated postures they assume endeavoring to accentuate their development. The naturalness of Well's stance and actions is by contrast especially admirable. Wells differs from the majority of physique contestants in other respects. This superman from Buffalo does not participate in the self-inflation orgies, that take place in the dressing room prior to a contest, when the frenzied "pumping up" activities dominate the atmosphere. In the "Mr. America" competition it was noticeable that wells confined his posing display to the restricted number of poses. Some of the other contestants took advantage of the situation by doing a series of poses much in excess of the specified number. Wells' good sportsmanship in this connection added to his prestige. His greatest liability is his comparatively poor calf development. But his drawback is overshadowed by the extra-ordinary features of his physique, particularly the remarkable development of his upper arms, shoulders and upper back. Wells won more individual honors than any other contestant in the tournament at Cleveland. In addition to placing second in the "Mr. America" event, he was selected as "Most Muscular Man" and won the sub-division contests for "Best Arms" and "Best Back." It was truly a field day for this popular athlete.

In the 1948 "Mr. America" competition the fourth place winner was Bill Melby. This year this handsome athlete from Salt Lake City representing LoZan's Gym improved his rating by finishing third with 62 points. Yet it was expected that Melby would prove a more serious rival for the "Mr. America" crown. The increased bulk that he acquired since the competition at Los Angeles gave his well proportioned physique a somewhat smooth appearance. Last year he displayed more muscular definition. Melby is very similar to Steve Reeves as a physical type and in looks. As a competitor in lifting contests, this physique champion from Utah has demonstrated that he is also exceptional in strength.

Much interest was centered on Harry Smith of Atlanta representing the University of Georgia. His victory over John Farbotnik in winning last year's "Junior Mr. America" Contest was an important factor in this The outcome of this event last year was regarded by many as an upset. It was expected and hoped that they both would be participants in the contest at Cleveland. This did not materialize for Farbotnik was obliged to cancel his entry for the "Mr. America" competition. Recently secured a high paying job that at this particular time would not allow for the needed time off from work. Farbotnik's victory in the "Mr. Illinois" contest on the 24th of April can be accepted as evidence of the fact that he is in tip top physical condition. It is unfortunate that circumstances denied him the opportunity to compete in this year's "Mr. America" contest.

Harry Smith certainly proved to the audience at Cleveland that he is definitely a physique champion of outstanding merit. He has a very adequate amount of all the requisites to make a worthy title holder; symmetry, impressive muscularity, good looks. The fact that he is an active lifter and was one of the three "Mr. America" participants to compete in the National Weightlifting Championships is definitely to his credit. Unfortunately Harry Smith foolishly marred his appearance at Cleveland by having his hair bleached a conspicuous blond color. This certainly was a liability. Despite this handicap he finished in fourth place with a total of 60 points.

Fifth place was won by Val Pasqua, the 1949 "Junior Mr. America." He scored a total of 58 1/2 points in rating as a prize winner. This outstanding body builder athlete from New York City has won honors in physique contests for a period of several years. His progress enabled him this year to win a number of titles. Several months ago he won the "Mr. New York City" contest and on May 1st he was victorious in the "Junior Mr. America" event at Chattanooga. He placed second to Melvin Wells in the "Mr. New York State" competition. Val is the leader of the prominent club in the Bronx named in his honor, Val's Gym.

Thanks to the effort of John Grimek and Siegmund Klein the lighting effects on the final day of the "Mr. America" competition were excellent. There were many complaints, chiefly from the contestants, concerning the poor lighting for the competition the first day when the subdivisions were conducted. It is true that the lighting was so general that there was little of the usual accentuation of muscularity. This really was a fortunate deficiency for it enabled the judges to properly evaluate the merits of the contestants under suitable lighting. This is almost impossible to accomplish where the observations are confined to abnormal lighting effects to stress muscularity. Seeing the athletes under natural general lighting as well as under spotlights is to be desired. This was fulfilled at Cleveland.

The competition in the sub-divisions on the first day of the "Mr. America" tournament was keen. Every event brought together a number of contestants possessing outstanding merit for each title. Jack Delinger started his march to victory by winning the first of these events, "Best Chest." His chest development is exceptional for the deep well formed rib box is well covered by his herculean muscular development in an impressive and symmetrical manner. This is not marred by a hypertrophy of the pectoral muscles. Melvin Wells was the top man in the sub-divisions for he won two of the titles, "Best Arms" and "Best Back." His development of these muscles is so extraordinary that it is almost unmatched. George Hackenschmidt declared after inspecting Wells' arm development that his upper arms were the most outstanding he had ever observed. First place in the "Best Legs" event was won by Bill Melby. His legs are almost flawless in that they have symmetry and impressive muscular contours from all angles. The muscles are well developed without being oversized. John Miller of the West Coast won the "Best Abdominals" award. His mid-section development is truly phenomenal. This body builder is an outstanding gymnast.

The judges are indeed deserving of praise for fulfilling their assignment so excellently. There were no unpopular or controversial verdicts in the selection of the winners of any of the events. The only possible fault to be found is in the rating of some of the also-rans, other than the place winners, in the "Mr. America" contest. But this invariably results in all physique events where there are a large number of entries. There is a natural tendency to concentrate on determining the scoring of the leaders for the title. This quite often the rating of the others fails to provide a fair indication of their merits. The situation is unfortunate but is difficult to rectify.

There is some criticism over the delays attached to the present system of determining the winners. This can be understood for there is a natural eagerness to learn the outcome of any contest promptly. There is a tendency for the time element to be magnified during any tense period. This criticism is insignificant compared with the merits of this judging system Detrich Wortmann installed some tow or three years ago. The all-important factor is to protect the interest of the competitors by employing a method designed, as in the case of Mr. Wortmann's method, to determine the proper winners. The welfare of the athletes and their efforts should under no circumstances fail to receive the best possible judging to gratify the desires of the spectators for promptness. The great majority of the fans appreciate the importance of having a judging system in operation that is designed to promote the correct verdict. The complication involved in calculating the results under the present system could be greatly simplified by employing a mechanical adding machine to speed up the process. Delays during this period at the end of the contests should be taken into consideration by those in charge of the meet. Plans should be made in advance to have suitable demonstrations take place on the stage so that the audience will be occupied until the decisions of the judges have been determined. At Cleveland the spectators were entertained during this waiting period by Bob Hoffman and Stan Stanczyk. Bob related the history of all the "Mr. AMerica" events, as well as the recent "Mr. U.S.A." and "Mr. Universe" contests, in a detailed manner that was marked with a frankness in comments. This talk was certainly entertaining and enlightening to the fans. Stan Stanczyk "wowed" the audience with his amusing impersonations of the most prominent physique champions. When it comes to pantomime caricatures of this kind, Stan is the Charlie Chaplin of the "big muscle" world.

After the decisions were released and the awards were made to the winners the show was concluded by Siegmund Klein and John Grimek. Their peerless demonstrations brought this successful championship meet to a fitting end. Sig Klein, the maestro of strongmen athletes, amazed the fans with his versatility. Opened his act with a routine of classical poses followed by a muscle control exhibition. This display convincingly revealed that he is still a superman. After this demonstration he did hand balancing feats, card tearing and weight juggling. As always, his stunts were executed with finesse. This performance marked the first time in recent years that Klein performed in his home city of Cleveland. The grand finale to the show was provided by the king of body builders, John Grimek. This superman is positively astounding when displaying his herculean physique in his supreme posing demonstration. It creates an impression that will long be vividly remembered. Always it proves the most outstanding feature of any variety strength display show at which this physique champion of champions appears.



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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #440 on: October 12, 2020, 11:34:55 AM »
Muslce Power, Vol 8, No 3, Page 50, August 1949

Results of the Amateur "Mr. America" and The Senior Nationals
Reported by Charles A Smith
The AAU and Joe Raymond are to be doubly congratulated on staging one of the finest Senior National Weightlifting shows and the Mr. America contest. Held in the Masonic Auditorium at Cleveland, Ohio, on May 21st and 22nd, with an audience of well over 2,000 crowding the hall, the top events of the Weightlifting World went off without a hitch, and provided the customers with a feast of thrills and record breaking.

New featherweight and heavyweight champions were crowned, and Mel Wells put the mantle of a prophet on the writer by living up to the predictions I made some months ago, in winning BEST ARMS, BEST BACK, and MOST MUSCULAR in the Mr. America Contest. Mel also placed second to Jack Dellinger in the contest. Jack won the Mr. America title as was full expected and also took the best Chest title. Bill Melby took the Best Legs award - a surprise here, as Kimon Voyages had won this division year after year. Best Abdominals was copped by John Miller. Kimon's training partner and buddy, Val Pasqua, did very well in gaining 5th place, beating Kimon by HALF a point.

Place   Name   Points
1   Jack Delinger   73 1/2
2   Melvin Wells   63 1/2
3   Bill Melby   62
4   Harry Smith   60
5   Val Pasqua   58 1/2
6   Kimon Voyages   58
7   Stan Stanczyk   58
8   Jim Krnarich   58
9   Everett Sinderoff   55
10   Joe Shaw   55
Best Arms   Melvin Wells
Best Back   Melvin Wells
Most Muscular   Melvin Wells
Bet Chest   Jack Delinger
Best Legs   Bill Melby
Best Abdominals   John Miller
The lifting saw a new featherweight champ in the person of Richard Tomita and - SENSATION - Norbert Schemansky won the Heavy title. The world and Olympic Champ, Johnny Davis, was suspended by the AAU for thirty days, and so was not permitted to defend his title.

Stanczyk created a new world record snatch in taking 290 as an extra attempt. The bar weighted in at 291. Stan and Pete George were the outstanding lifters of the meet. Stan also attempted a 360 clean and jerk, a lift he came so close to making at the Mid Atlantics on May 7th. Stanczyk had the weight well in at the shoulders, but failed to jerk this tremendous poundage.

Sid Klein, famed old time, and the one and only John Grimek appeared. John, fresh from his triumph on the coast, was once again the sensation of the show, thrilling the audience with his superb physique and display of classical posing.

The duties of Masters-of-Ceremonies were in the very capable hands of Bob Hoffman, who took care of the lifting, and Jack Libertore, who was on the stage for the Mr. America event and the various sub-divisions. All were agreed that this was one of the very best displays ever to be staged.


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #441 on: October 12, 2020, 11:35:40 AM »
1950 Mr America - AAU

1     John Farbotnik
2     Melvin Wells
3     Roy Hilligenn
4     Valerio Pasqua
5     Edward Chrupcala
6     Marvin Eder
7     Vahe Kartalian
8     Al Berman
9     Jim Park
10     Steve Klisanin
11     René Leger
12     Ed Karczewski
13     Irvin Koszewski (Zabo)
14     Jim Krznarich
15     Kimon Voyages
16     John Plaskow
17     Harry Smith
18     Edward Wiza
19     Alan Brijunas
20     Bill Cerdas
21     Irving Bridgers
22     Harold Wiggins
23     Constantine Kosiras

Most Muscular
1     Melvin Wells


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #442 on: October 12, 2020, 11:36:25 AM »
Strength & Health, Page 14, July 1950

The 1950 "Mr. America" Contest
Farbotnik Wins Well Deserved Victory
by Eric Askew
THIS year Philadelphia's famous Academy of Music was the scene of one of the most successful Mr. America contests to date. The standard of the contestants was unusually high, and the smooth manner in which the contest was run off, was a credit to Ray Van Cleef who had done a fine job of organizing the affair. Before the contest, Ray sent out several hundred letters, followup letters, and postcards to different gymnasiums, Y.M.C.A.'s clubs and individual contestants. It was due to his untiring efforts that the Mr. America contest ran according to schedule instead of dragging out as it had in previous years.

A good beginning was made by having the thirty-two contestants line up in alphabetical order in a huge semi-circle right across the stage. This enabled the judges and the Public to compare the contestants with each other. It was immediately apparent that there were some very fine physiques present and that the final judging was going to be very close. It was pleasing to see that this year there were none of the undeveloped exhibitionists who usually insist on entering, and only succeed in prolonging the event, when they have no hope of even placing.

The subdivisions were held on Friday evening, and most of the results were foregone conclusions. Melvin Wells, last year's winner of the Best Arms, was once again successful in this class. In most people's opinion, he has the most muscular upper arm ever seen in America. John Farbotnik easily deserved the Best Chest award, although Marvin Eder and "Buck" Kartalian were outstanding, and gave him strong competition. In a close finish, John Farbotnik, a master poser, beat Melvin Wells, last year's winner of the Best Back, although Wells would probably have carried off this trophy too, if head shown his terrific back to better advantage.

1950 "Mr. America" Scores
Contestant   Rating
John Farbotnk   71
Melvin Wells   68
Roy Hilligenn   65
Val Pasqua   65
Edward Chrupcala   63
Marvin Eder   63
Vahe Kartalian   61
Al Berman   60
James Park   60
Steve Klisanin   59
Rene Leger   58 1/2
Ed Karczewski   58
Irvin Koszewski   57
Jim Krznarich   57
Kimon Voyages   57
John Plaskow   56 1/2
Harry Smith   56 1/2
Edward Wiza   56 1/2
Alan Brijunas   55
William Cerdas   54
Irving Bridgers   51
Harold Wiggins   47 1/2
Constantine Kosiras   47
Donald DeLauney   39 1/2
Sub-Division Winners
Most Mucular   Melvin Wells
Best Arms   Melvin Wells
Best Chest   John Farbotnik
Best Bak   John Farbotnik
Best Abdominals   Irvin Koszewski
Best Legs   Edward Chrupcala
JUDGES: Lawrence Barnholth,
Romeo Bergeron, Mark Berry, Emmett Faris,
Jim Messer, Charles Smith, Ray Van Cleef

In the Best Abdominals, there was close competition between Marvin Eder, Wallace Farrell, Jim Krznarich and Irvin Koszewski. These four boys were called back for final judging, and Irvin Koszewski won by a narrow margin. The final event of the evening, the Best Legs, also saw a number of boys called back for the judges to take a second look. These were Edward Chrupcala, John Farbotnik, Roy Hilligenn, Jim Krznarich and Kimon Voyages. Most of these boys had very fine legs, but Chrupcala, a newcomer to these physique contests, easily won the trophy.

The evening was brought to a close by the presentation of the trophies by Miss Me Dennis of Philadelphia, a beauty contest winner and professional model, who supplied the cheesecake for the evening. Judging by the howls from the audience, Miss Dennis should have won the Best Chest award.

Saturday evening, a big crowd saw the main events, the Most Muscular, and the Mr. America contests. There was some exceptionally fine posing from some of the contestants, and it was clear that the judges were going to have a hard time picking the winner.

After the last of the posing, there were a number of good performances while the judges came to their final decision. First, Marvin Eder gave a most unusual display of biceps control. Leaning forward, he flexed his right biceps, and then alternately relaxed and contracted the separate heads of the muscle. Later, in discussing this particular control with several famous muscle control artists, I could find no-one who had seen it done before.

Roy Hilligenn followed with a fine exhibition of tumbling, which demonstrated very well that weight trained men can be very nimble and flexible. Later, he also proved his exceptional strength in an unusual lift of his own. First he cleaned the bar to his chest, holding it in an upright rowing position. With a short dip, he then snatched it overhead. In this manner, he worked up to 250 pounds.

Another of the Mr. America contestants, Alan Brijunas of Chicago, also entertained the crowd with a display of muscle control.

Then Val Pasqua showed his strength and speed, by performing fast repetition deadlifts, with the weight held behind his legs. He lifted 350 pounds this particular night, but is credited with using much heavier poundages. Another popular feature was the posing by Jules Bacon, Mr. America of 1943.

As usual, the crowd called for George Eiferman, Mr. America of 1948, and he obliged by doing a number of supine presses in excess of 350 pounds. George is one of the most likeable personalities in the weightlifting world, and his comic antics and remarks had the crowd in constant laughter. He finished with some excellent posing, and received a great hand from the audience.

Now the time had come for announcing of the winners, and presentation of their prizes - the big moment of the evening. Everyone was eager to know the winners of magnificent trophies, set on one side of the stage. This was the most impressive collection of trophies ever assembled for one contest. It included the awards for the winners of the different weightlifting events. In previous contests, there have been complaints that the bodybuilders have received better trophies than the weightlifters. This year, there was no room for such comment , as all the prizes were exactly the same size, except for the two huge ones (both the same size) awarded to the best lifter, and to Mr. America. The only difference was that the lifters' awards were mounted by the figure of a weightlifter, while the bodybuilders' bore a figure of Apollo.

As in last year's contest, it was no surprise when Melvin Wells was announced as the winner of the Most Muscular Physique. It was a popular decision with the crowd. Next, Roy Hilligenn was called for third place, then in the midst of mounting suspense, the second place was awarded to Melvin Wells, and finally the winner was announced as John Farbotnik. The difficult task which the judges had had, choosing the winner, was evident from the final results, which separated the first from the third place, by only six points.

John Farbotnik, a former pupil of Fritsche and a training partner and close friend of George Eiferman, certainly deserved this victory. In 1946, at the Mr. America contest, he was one of the finalists, then again the following year, he was once more a finalist. That same year, he was second to Steve Stanko, in the Mr. Universe contest held in Philadelphia, which is his home town. He has won Mr. Philadelphia, Mr. Chicago, Mr. California and many sub-divisions in these contests. John, who is now a student at the Physical Services Institute of Conner & Zinken in Los Angeles, worked at a similar Medical Rehabilitation centre during the war, under the famous Dr. Thomas De Lorme, where resistance exercises were used very effectively to help veterans regain the use of their injured limbs.

Hard-working and ambitious, John was recently working 12 to 14 hours a day for a bakery. His bodyweight dropped to 170 pounds. However, since he went to California and resumed training, his weight has shot up to 195 pounds, and he is now in better shape than he has been at any previous time. He is encouraged to greater efforts by his wife, who is also a physical culturist. His strength is remarkable; while training at York, prior to this event, he beat several of the lifters at feats of strength. He is also an excellent muscle control artists, performing a number of unique chest controls.

John is no extremist either in his training methods or his eating habits. He is a serious, reserved, unassuming character, whose victory was a well deserved and popular one.

In second place, Melvin Wells, who has also won the title of Mr. New York State, was another popular winner. He always receives a terrific ovation from the crowd, and this evening was no exception. Such an upper body has seldom been seen, his size being matched by his wonderful definition. Since last year, his legs which were then a little light, show marked improvement. Anyone who sees Melvin Wells on Stage is seeing him as he really is. He is one of the few contestants who does not spend his time backstage furiously "pumping up" his muscles. Apart from his bodybuilding activities, Melvin is an exceedingly good all round athlete. He is a star performer on his baseball team, and has had professional offers in this field. He also excels in basketball, and has been invited to join the famous Harlem Globe Trotters.

After his day's work at the Ford plant, he trains alone, performing with ease such feats of strength as seesaw presses with 115 pound dumbells. But for all his success and popularity, Melvin is quiet and modest, a thoroughly likeable personality.

Roy Hilligenn, Mr. South Africa, South African middleweight weightlifting champion, and Mr. Pacific Coast, is a most versatile strongman. While training at York, he was unafraid to try the pet stunts of any one of the other lifters. At the conclusion of a heavy workout, he has been seen to clean and jerk 300 pounds. He can squat with 400 pounds.

The fourth place was taken by Val Pasqua. In the original voting he tied with Roy Hilligenn, but when the judges votes between the two, it seemed that Hilligenn had a slight edge on Pasqua. The latter is the founder of the famous Val's Gym in New York. At present he is a masseur and is also studying to become a chiropractor. In his spare time, he is an ardent follower of the opera. Val is to be commended for the encouragement his is giving many others in this great game.

Edward Chrupcala, who placed fifth in the finals, was at the York Barbel Company picnic last year, where he was seen by Ray Van Cleef. Ray was impressed by his fine physique and wanted him to enter the Mr. America contest, but had quite a job persuading him. However, the fact that he placed so high and also won the Best Legs, proves that Ray's judgement was correct. his naturally fine legs have responded amazingly well to training. Apart from this recent success, he was recently a place winner in the Mr. Middle Atlantic contest, second in Mr. Philadelphia, and won his height division in the same contest.

The sixth man was Marvin Eder, a teenage muscular marvel, who can supine press around 400 pounds. With his terrific bulk and power, he has great possibilities as a weightlifter.

In seventh place was "Buck" Kartalian from Bothner's Gym in New York. Although he has won many New York Metropolitan awards, his lack of height will possibly prevent him from winning a Mr. America Title. Marvin Eder is in the same position, and it is a pity that there is not a subdivision that would give these smaller men the recognition they deserve.

One man who received a great buildup before the contest, was James Park, from Chicago and winner of the Mr. Mid West title. His physique was good, but he would have shown to much better advantage if he had reduced his bodyweight about fifteen pounds in order to show more definition.

Following Park was Steve Klisanin, who is a capable light heavyweight lifter, and footballer, also the winner of several physique contests.

Half a point behind Klisanin, was Rene Leger, Mr. Canada of 1947 and a finalist in the Mr. Universe contest that year. Unfortunately Rene was not in as good shape as he was at that time.

Irvin Koszewski, the winner of the Best Abdominals, placed next. He has a small rib box and light bone structure, but is heavily muscled.

Kimon Voyages, in the next place, has possibly won more special awards and contests than any other contestant. Like Parks, he has a fine physique which was spoiled by excess weight.

A creditable performance was given by John Plaskow, in what was probably his first contest. In his early thirties, John has trained alone for many years. He is six feet tall and has an impressive physique. He has an eighteen inch upper arm, and the most impressive foreamrs in the contest.

Last year's Junior Mr. America, Harry Smith, another capable lifter, was not in such fine shape as he was last year.

A fitting climax to the evening, was the appearance of the incomparable John Grimek, who had flown over from Hawaii especially for this event. After being presented with the trophy for the Greatest Body Builder of the Century, which was decided by an overwhelming majority in a popular poll, he delighted the audience with his unparalleled posing routine.

Throughout the whole program, the audience was well behaved and appreciative. Photographers, both amateur and professional, were given the use of the orchestra pit, and took full advantage of their privilege. All agreed, that in every respect, this was one of the most successful contest every held.



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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #443 on: October 12, 2020, 11:37:19 AM »
1951 Mr America - AAU

1     Roy Hilligenn
2     Malcolm Brenner
3     Marvin Eder
3     George Paine
5     Pepper Gomez
6     Keith Stephan
7     Victor Nicoletti
9     Joe Sanceri
9     John Witkowski
10     Ken Cameron
-     Max Grunig
-     Ed Heckinger
-     Robert Elwood Holbrook
-     Ed Holovchik
-     Dominick Juliano
-     Alvin Lee
-     Newman Lewis
-     Ralph Mascaro
-     Allen Moraes
-     Elias Rodriguez
-     Stan Stanczyk
-     Carlin Venus
-     George Waselinko
-     Monte Wolford

Most Muscular
1     Roy Hilligenn


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #444 on: October 12, 2020, 11:37:59 AM »
IronMan, Vol 11, No 3, Page 12, September 1951

The 1951 Mr America Contest
(Excerpts from "Senior National Championships and Mr America Contest")

NO one puts on a better lifting meet or physique show than the various promoters in California and particularly the Los Angeles area. It was with keen anticipation therefore, that your Editor and his wife set out from Alliance at 8 o'clock the evening of June 13th and drove steadily for 30 hours to arrive in Los Angeles the night of the 14th, late. We had planned to arrive a day earlier but duties here at the Iron Man office were too heavy to leave at that time. Consequently we arrived just a little late for the first of several dinners for officials and competitors.

After visiting a few gyms and attending to a few matters of business it was time for the lifting and physique contest the evening of the 15th. This was held in the open air Greek Theatre of Griffith Park, a beautiful setting for such an event. At 7:30 P. M. when the show was scheduled to start, it was cool in the park, in fact it became a little chilly later on as the Theatre is located quite high on a hill in the park.

The lighting for the physique contest was, we believe the best we have seen and certainly did much for the fine physiques competing in the "Mr. America" contest. The stage was of ample proportions and a fine $300 lifting platform was specially constructed for the meet and it was a beauty. The meet was sponsored by the Southern California Weight Lifters Association Inc., headed by David Matlin and assisted by a fine committee of the leading professionals and amateurs of the West Coast. We were certainly not disappointed in this meet and feel that it was the best that America has ever had. The only one we can remember that comes close to it was the 1939 meet in Chicago.

A very good attendance was recorded for a first night and they certainly were well repaid with some wonderful lifting and physique display.

[description of weightlifting contest skipped]


Twenty-five of the finest physiques in America had entered this contest and I must say that I've never seen a finer group lined up on the stage. This part of the meet was well organized and ran off smoothly and efficiently. As we have said before the lighting over the posing platform was superb. When a man posed too long, he was called by the announcer. Thus each contestant was given a fair and equal opportunity. Of course there are rules of a front, back, and optional pose and a total of 30 seconds posing time, but this rule is seldom enforced. Marvin Eder from Jersey City was there to display his herculean physique. It is almost unbelievable that anyone can pack so much muscle. This man is terrific. George Paine, the new "Jr. Mr. America" was on hand to display his wonderful development. It is seldom that a man can have such unusual development and such unbelievable definition at the same time. He is a human anatomical chart if there ever was one and a swell fellow too. Keith Stephan from Leo Stern's gym was on hand to display his magnificent physique. This boy will be the most massively developed of any perfect man we have ever had when he reaches his maximum perfection. We predict great things for this boy. He has the largest bone structure of any physique contestant we have ever seen. He already has measurements that equal the largest but still looks as if he could stand a lot more bulk. Then when he works for definition after bulking up a bit more, he will be unbeatable. He is a bit nervous on the platform yet, and needs more posing practice.

Monty Wolford looked better than ever and that triceps of his is certainly one of the largest we have ever seen. Alvin Lee looked wonderful with terrific definition. His only fault if it can be called that, is that most people feel his waist is too thin and slender. It looks as if it didn't measure a bit over 25 inches. Stan Stanczyk was on the platform with his usual clowning. Malcolm Brenner is much improved and certainly looked terrific. His calves are the only body parts that might stand more work. Vic Nicoletti looks terrific as usual. He has been in this physique game a long time now, and still winning contests. Roy Hilligenn made most amazing improvement. A few years ago we would not have given much for his chances of winning a "Mr. America" contest but his physique was so greatly improved that it was hard to believe it was done in 2 months. Ken Cameron looks wonderful and when he gets those arms up a bit he will be hard to beat in any contest. Elias Rodriquez looked better than ever. This boy is tops for definition but does not have quite enough bulk to win "Mr. America." He is certainly a swell fellow.

Following is a list of entries from the program: Ralph Mascaro, Lewis Newman, Elias Rodriquez, Kenneth Cameron, Max Grunig, Victor Nicoletti, Elwood Holbrook, Malcolm Brenner, Edmund Holochik, Stan Stanczyk, Alvin Lee, Joe Sanceri, Allen Morales, Monty Wolford, John Witkowski, Ed Heckinger, Carlin Venus, Keith Stephen, George Paine, Marvin Eder, D. Juliano, Roy Hilligenn, Pepper Gomez, George Waselinko.

Best arms were won by Malcolm Brenner. His arms are huge, nearly 19 inches and possess unusual definition and shape. Malcolm also won Best Chest. Most Muscular went to Roy Hilligenn as well as best legs. Best back award was won by George Paine with his unusual definition. Best Abdominals was won by Ken Cameron. This was a hard decision to make for many of those boys had superb abdominals but Ken has an all round development as well as massive size and definition that is hard to beat. Everyone of the decisions on the above were difficult for the judges to make because all these boys were terrific. Beautiful trophies were presented to each winner.

Everyone left the hall that evening well satisfied with having witnessed a great show.

[next day, more weightlifting]


The audience was much larger than for the first night. This is the usual thing for most people want to see the Mr. America contest so the place was packed. They were not disappointed because in addition to the greatest lifting they had ever seen they also enjoyed one of the finest Mr. America contests in history. All the line physiques that had appeared in the Subdivisions the night before were here again fighting it out for the most coveted physique title in the world.

Every one of them looked magnificent under the fine lighting. Walt Marcyan, who worked on the lighting had used some color in the lights which gave the boys the most beautiful golden color imaginable, a glowing golden color. Of course all of them were well tanned.

As each man came on the platform and took his turn posing it became apparent that the judges had a stupendous task on their hands. In the first session all were eliminated but the best ten. These were again called to the platform both as a group and individually to pose again. Now it began to be evident that first place would go to either Malcolm Brenner or Roy Hilligenn although the other boys were pushing them very close. Finally the judges were through with their work and while the audience waited tensely the points were tabulated. The winner was Roy Hilligenn with 68 1/2 points with Malcolm Brenner a close second with 67 points. Marvin Eder and George Paine tied for third and each of them will receive a fine trophy and medal. They both had 65 points. Fourth place was won by Pepper Gomez who has improved a great deal in the past year and now takes his place with the best in the country. His total was 61 points. Keith Stephen won 5th place with 59. Joe Sanceri and John Witkowski were sixth with a tie of 57 points while Ken Cameron was 8th with 54 1/2 points. With so many good and deserving men it is regretable that more than one can't be named ""Mr. America"" but there is always another year.

Those who saw this night's show will long remember it as one of the greatest of their lives. After the show they gathered in little groups to discuss the nights events and the custodians had great difficulty clearing the theatre to close it up, after which the people stood on the side walk in front for hours, finally drifting away in groups together to some all night cafe where they could still further enjoy each other's fellowship and discuss the game so dear to the hearts of each of them.



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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #445 on: October 12, 2020, 11:38:40 AM »
Muslce Power, Vol 12 No 5, Page 14, October 1951

Mr. America 1951
Roy Hilligenn
by Earle Liederman
Malcolm Brenner was second, while Marvin Eder and George Paine tied for third place.
The great event is over! Everyone had anxiously awaited the nights of June 15th and 16th past, and not one is disappointed, for it proved to be the finest show the AAU has ever staged. Between the National championships, wherein John Davis made a new world's record in the clean and jerk by doing the enormous lift of 402 lbs., to the final judging of the physique entrants, there was not a dull moment. Each of the 27 entrants in the Mr. America contest was so finely proportioned and so magnificently developed that any among the first ten selected for a second judging, could have been a winner. But this does not take anything away from Roy Hilligenn who was at his best. I have never seen him look better. His compact musculature held spectators captivated when he performed his numerous poses, and when he was awarded the biggest trophy and the title, all in the audience were pleased. But before going into further details, let me give you the setting where this affair was held.

At the north side of Hollywood, there are numerous hills. Some of these rise to nearly 2,000 feet. At the edge of these green hills there is built the Greek theatre -- modeled after one of those of ancient Greek era. The stage is very wide and deep, and back and deep into the sides and rear of this stage hangs a black plush cyclorama drop or curtain. The audience seats itself in very wide rows of benches built upon stone or concrete, and these rows run backwards and upwards, so that the last row seems to be elevated about fifty feet above the first one. In other words, the slope from the last row down to the first row is a great deal steeper than any theatre in which you have been.

As the crowd poured into this space of lengthy benches and aisles, and awaited the parting of the silk-like front stage curtain, everyone seemed to relax into the arms of an enchanted evening. Overhead were the fading colors of the setting sun, for it was but 7:30 o'clock -- the time scheduled for the big events to start. It was not long before the moon could be seen hanging like a huge silver coin in the Eastern sky, while the planet Venus sparkled in the West, and over the tips of the tall pines, like a brilliant diamond. And it was cool! The damp breath from the Pacific ocean crept upon the audience and then onto the skin of those who were about to perform. This was Friday night - the first night wherein the initial section of the lifting and the judging of the best body-parts was about to take place. The final selection of Mr. America was saved until the next night. So, let me quickly take you into Saturday night and to the main attractions, and then I shall return to the weight events and subdivisions later on.

Roy Hilligenn, the Mr. America for 1951, was born to be a prize contestant. When he was a baby six months old, he won the first prize for being the prettiest in an open contest held in South Africa; then, just twenty-one years later, he was awarded the title of Mr. South Africa. When he came to the United States, he possessed a fine attractive physique with very useful muscles. That was about five or six years ago. During this time he trained continually and lead a very adventurous life, travelling all over the States, training in various gymnasiums, and even taking his workouts in the hottest spot in the land -- Death Valley, California, where he settled for a while. This Valley is far below the sea level and the heat is mostly intense. From time to time he entered physique contest and took high honors, but with the title of Mr. America always in his mind, it was not until late in the night of June 16th that his ambitions were realized and all of his dreams came true. He trained mighty hard for this famous event and when he stepped upon the posing platform to show his "wares" in the form of larger and better developed muscles, he appeared to be in the finest shape I have ever seen him.

The contest was a very difficult one to judge. Each contestant owned excellent muscles and looked good. Many were prize winners in major events in other States while some held numerous titles. For example, there was Malcolm Brenner who is Mr. California for 1951, and then there was Alvin Lee, who holds the title of Mr. Pacific Coast, and Victor Nicoletti owns Mr. New York City, Mr. Los Angeles and also one of Mr. Pacific Coast. Marvin Eder possesses Mr. Eastern America title, and so on down the line-nearly all prize winners. The judges were reluctantly forced to weed out seventeen, until there became the final ten from which to select the one worthy of the crown. Even this was difficult. The judges were forced to go into a special 100 point system of judging, and the usual hush which occurs during that tense moment just before the final decision, immediately changed to a din as Roy Hilligenn was proclaimed Mr. America! It was then that Roy was all teeth and with a pounding heart. He won because he was given 68 1/2 points. Malcolm Brenner came in second only 1 1/2 points behind, there being 67 points in his favor. And only two points lower were George Paine and Marvin Eder who tied for third spot with 65 Points. Monty Wolford had 61 points for fourth place while Keith Stephen was fifth with 59 points. Vic Nicoletti and Pepper Gomez engaged in a tie for sixth spot with 57 points each, So you may readily see how close this contest really was. The judges did a good job of everything and were very conscientious despite the regular disappointments of the many who personally thought that they deserved the big trophy. And as one of the announcers previously mentioned, "It appears as though there could be ten or twelve Mr. Americas selected."

Photographs and words cannot do justice to the wonderful physiques that lined the wide stage as they stood in a final relaxed uniform posture like a small regiment while the judges gave each a last careful study. The largest entrants were Malcolm Brenner and Keith Stephen who seemed a head taller than all the rest. Pepper Gomez, Marvin Eder and Joe Sanceri appeared to be the "chunkiest" in muscle during this final line-up. And George Paine, the Eastern colored boy, impressed this reporter as possessing the greatest definition of all for a 190 lb. athlete. His abdominals were sensational, yet he did not win the award for the best, though he ran away with the prize for the finest back, as this fellow's back development is absolutely sensational.

Personally, I think that the selection of the best body-parts in a physique contest is the hardest job of all, for when each contestant poses for this special display of a certain body-section, each of the entrants seems to be the best and it takes a perfect memory to maintain the one outstanding "best-section" as twenty-seven are being judged. For example: --Brenner has a marvelous back and so has Eder, and the same can be said for Gomez, Rodriques, Hilligenn, Nicoletti, Lee and others; but Paine simply had all that the rest owned and something more! And as for the selection of the best legs on the opening night of this affair, again there were Nicoletti, Sanceri, Wolford, Paine, Brenner, Rodriquez and Mascaro to consider, but Roy Hilligen secured the award. In selecting the best arms, size alone could not be entertained. There had to be contour and separation as well as appearance of both biceps and triceps with forearm contour a factor. Marvin Eder has remarkable biceps which he can contract in double style. By that I mean, he can first flex them tightly, and as these arms seem to be tensed at their utmost, he can then further contract his biceps so that hey raise and move in rhythm towards his deltoids. I have never seen this done before. And his biceps are as large as standard size baseballs, but the second award was given him because the mighty arms of Malcolm Brenner were just a bit better. Malcolm also won the best chest event for he is difficult to beat in this division, and Roy Hilligenn secured second place. In the best abdominals, the award went to Kenneth Cameron, who has won first prizes before for his clean-cut and finely formed abdominal muscles, while George Paine had to be satisfied with second place.

To obtain a decision in the judging of the most muscular physique, numerous factors must be considered, such as uniformity of muscle-structure as applied to entire body, and the size and contour as well as definition of all of the muscles, and last bur not least, the whole proportion of the contestant's physique. Many entrants have great developments but lack neck-size or calf-size and thus become disqualified in judging this division. Anyway, Roy Hilligenn was proclaimed as having the most muscular body and George Paine was given second place. Marvin Eder, who had bady sprained his leg the day before by lifting to heavy a weight at Muscle Beach, and which undoubtedly proved a handicap because of constant pain, got third spot in this division. By now you may have a fair appreciation of the physiques of those who ran one-two-three in being the most muscular when they beat such sensationally muscular fellows like Brenner, Nicoletti, Mascaro, Gomez, Venus, Wolford, Lee and Rodriques, and to which might be added many other names.

There were upwards of four thousand enthusiastic spectators, who were most generous with their appreciative applause despite the chill of the night air, as all sat under a roof of sky. And, as for each of the contestants, he labored under a personal handicap of having to stand hour after hour with bare feet upon stone flooring and with goose-pimples covering his cold muscles. A few of those who posed actually had chattering teeth. However, the honor and privilege of owning a physique good enough to display at a major event such as a Mr. America contest, should greatly compensate all who did not become the Mr. America, and it undoubtedly spurs them on to further efforts and greater determination to build-up muscle during the next fiscal year to again try for the coveted title. Roy Hilligenn is happy, and the world congratulates him upon his victory. I, personally, think that he well deserves his laurels, for he had worked mighty hard to reach the ladder's top rung where he stands today.



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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #446 on: October 12, 2020, 11:39:25 AM »
1952 Mr America - AAU

1     Jim Park
2     Malcolm Brenner
3     George Paine
4     Don Van Fleteren
5     Irvin Koszewski (Zabo)
6     Walt Cuzzimano
7     Vic Seipke
8     Harry Smith
9     Mickey Hargitay
10     Bill Cerdas
11     Tim Sweeney (1)
12     Ralph Brunhart
13     Art Zeller
14     George Jones (1)
15     Dominick Juliano
16     Harry Johnson (1)
17     Leroy Colbert
18     Phil Zimmerman
19     Al Berman
20     Seymour Peters
21     Seymour Koenig
22     Sam Griffiths
23     Keith Lewin
24     Roger Servin
25     Ray Jiminez
26     Frank Manson
27     Lou Degni
28     Arthur Salac
29     Raul Pacheco


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #447 on: October 12, 2020, 11:40:08 AM »
IronMan, Vol 12, No 2, Page 12, August 1952

Mr. America for 1952!
by Jerry Ross
IT IS INDEED a privilege to write a report of the 1952 Mr. America contest for the readers of Iron Man who were not privileged to attend this big affair of the year.

I believe that the contestants at this show staged by John Terlazzo were the finest of any Mr. America contests I've ever attended. We heard it remarked that if one were to cover the faces of the contestants it would be difficult to identify them as they were all developed to the maximum and so many of them seemed to look alike in physique. They all had beautiful golden tans and most of them were experts at displaying their physiques to the best advantage.

Al Urban had done a great job of arranging the lighting while Jack Libertore was an excellent Master of Ceremonies with his vast store of information about the various contestants. It was a contest well worth the expense and effort of traveling across the country, if necessary, to see it.

All the men entered seemed greatly improved and the top men were no exception. From the first it became evident that both Malcolm Brenner from sunny California along with James Parks from Johnson's gym in Chicago were men to be reckoned with. Brenner had made very great improvement since we had last seen him-in fact he hardly looked like the same man, while Parks had made unbelievable progress on the program of diet and exercise he had been following for the past 6 weeks (his training period for this contest) at the Johnson gym. A year ago Parks had been failing to win even local contests but here he was looking like (from my point of view) one of the finest built men of our time. His definition, shape and size had greatly improved from the last time I saw him. Brenner too, looked much larger. His proportions were much better and he had terrific definition.

George Paine was much improved with more bulk and shape and about the most definition you could expect to find. We used to think Melvin Wells the most terrific colored man we had seen but Paine has features to place him at the top. He is simply unbelievable. Wells was on hand also and still looked terrific but somehow he didn't look in quite as good a shape as we had seen him at other times.

We were sitting at the side the first night so we could be mistaken about his condition. The second night we were out front and obtained a true picture of the physiques of the contestants. Never sit on the side if you want to see a physique show that is any good at all. From the side the poses usually look very poor. Contestants pose to the front and the lights are set up for front posing.

We are getting ahead of our story, however. The first night the Sub Divisions were run off and gave the people a chance to see what was in store for them the second night when the Mr. America was contested. As the men came on the platform for best arms, some of the arms there were simply huge and with terrific shape and definition. There was Melvin Wells who has won best arms in the past. His arms look as large as ever with a very unusual shape and great definition. Malcolm Brenner with his great arms of around 19 inches. They and well shaped and with good definition. Arthur Zeller with very good arms. George Paine whose arms are bigger than ever. And last, James Parks, whose arms are so big it's hard to see how he could pack on any more muscle. When the judges were through, the selection for best arms went to James Parks.

The best abdominals found many men with excellent abdominals. On the other hand some contestants were rather poor in this department, indicating a neglect of these muscles. Parks, Paine, Brenner and several others had very good abdominals but Irvin Koszewski with one of the finest abdominal formations we have ever seen, again took the title. Many fellows do not pose their abdomen properly and seemingly cannot forget their big arms and constantly show off their arms when they should be posing their abdominals.

The best chest title again went to James Parks. There were a lot of good chests there, including Malcolm Brenner, and it must have been a close one to judge. Parks also won the Most Muscular, which gave him three cups the first night.

Malcolm Brenner won the Best Back title with his terrific spread, good definition and masterly posing. He gave the most dramatic back posing display of anyone.

In the Best Legs, we thought the judges again had a problem on their hands, but they finally chose the legs of George Paine as the best because of his massive thigh development and definition altho like most of his race, his calves are not good.

This concluded the events of the first night at about 2 A.M. in the morning. There had been a lot of lifting competitors and also quite a large entry of Physique contestants with 36 men to run through the events. This made it quite late even tho there was no lag or drag in the program.

The following night, Saturday, June 28th there was nothing on the program but the "Mr. America" contest and some special acts. Even so, it took some time to run off all the contestants. Each man gave a fine demonstration of posing and development.

Mickey Hargitay of Indianapolis had No.1 so was first on the platform. He showed great improvement over a year ago when he appeared in the "Mr. Mid-America" in Kansas City. He has a great future. Seymour Koenig is very massive and muscular. Walter Cuzzimano has a good back with a beautiful tan and very Good pecs and thighs. Ken Pendleton, the old timer, whose photos were featured 15 years ago in Iron Man, was a competitor and looked terrific. Most people are not acquainted with the fact that Ken was once a cripple and could not walk. Roger Servin was a good example of the fine display the slender man can make when fully developed. He is 5'10" and weighs but 158 lbs., but with his wide shoulders he compared very favorably with others on the platform. He has a very fine back development.

George Jones has a fine all round physique and has good posing ability. Phillip Zimmerman has unusual definition and very good development. Bill Cerdas, a master poser, not quite as heavily developed as some of the others, but still right at the top of fine physiques. Irvin Koszewski had a beautiful tan, excellent posing ability and a good all round development to go with his abdominals. He is built on more slender lines than most of the others, with light bones and narrow framework. He is proof that a man doesn't have to have broad shoulders to develop a physique that rates with the best.

We have already discussed Melvin Wells physique. Al Berman has a most unusual chest development and general fine physique but lacks some in definition of the others. Louis Degni is also massive but rather smooth. Leonard Peters is very well developed and has good definition. If unacquainted with" them, you're apt to confuse him with LeRoy Colbert, who also possesses a superb physique which we believe is a little better proportioned than Peters with full round development but lacking some of the definition of Peters.

Harry Johnson still looks good, but needs more definition. Ray Jiminez is very good with terrific definition of his pectorals. In fact he has excellent definition all over. Zeller has very good arms and pectorals. Juliano has pectorals which will rival those of Geo. Eifferman for size. He is very massively developed but lacks the fine definition of some of the others. Sweeney presented a fine over all appearance. Brunhart of Johnson Studios had good size, nice shape and very good definition. Brenner, as we have said, looked terrific. He seemed much more muscular than ever before with a very nice tan. Harry Smith still has a fine physique but has lost much of his former fine definition and didn't look as if he had been training too hard. Raul Pacheco is very well developed with good proportions and definition, presenting a very good over all appearance. Sam Griffiths has lost too much of his definition but looks good yet. We have already commented on the terrific physique of Paine. Parks looked terrific and we couldn't see a single weak link in his physique. Keith Lewin, the recent "Mr. Colorado" is finely developed but needs still more bulk.

Now we come to Dan Van Fleteran the present Mr. Michigan, who some spectators thought should have won the Mr. America title. This man is big and very, very good. He has terrific arms and back with a good chest and legs. We predict that this man has an excellent chance of winning the. Mr. America title if he continues to train regularly. He is about 6'1" and weighs 215. I could not keep my eyes off his superb physique as we walked around back of the stage.

What a terrific group of physiques. I did not envy. the judges their task because the top men were so close. The opinion of most people was that Jim Parks and Malcolm Brenner were top men. It took the judges some time to gather and count their votes. When they were through and the winners were announced it was found that Parks won the coveted title with Brenner winning second, Paine third, Van Fleteran fourth and Koszewski fifth place.

It was at this point that an event occurred that marred the entire show for us. A certain uncouth element in the audience immediately set up a bedlam of booing and catcalling and insulting remarks because they did not agree with the judges' decision in awarding the title to Parks over Brenner. They mobbed the stage and created the most disgusting scene I've ever witnessed at a sporting event. They certainly showed very poor sportsmanship and should be very much ashamed of themselves. They lower the level of the sport immeasurably in the eyes of respectable people by such actions. If such things were to continue, I personally would not care to attend any more such shows.

I feel the judges did a fair job. It must have been very close between the two top men and I personally thought the judges might award it to Brenner because of his height but the flawless physique of James Parks emerged the victor and I'm willing to abide by the judges' decision as I know they are strictly honest and as capable as any group of judges in the country.

I am happy to say that I feel I saw as fine a group of physiques as were ever assembled in one group in the world.



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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #448 on: October 12, 2020, 11:40:45 AM »
1953 Mr America - AAU

1     Bill Pearl
2     Dick DuBois
3     Irvin Koszewski (Zabo)
4     Steve Klisanin
4     George Paine
6     Tony Silipini
7     Timmy Leong
8     Tim Sweeney (1)
9     Dominick Juliano
10     Malcolm Brenner
11     Vic Seipke
12     Mickey Hargitay
13     Gene Bohaty
14     Harry Johnson (1)
15     Dick Garza
16     Robert Ballard
17     Ed Koeppe
18     George Jones (1)
19     John Henderson
20     John Lyons
20     Paul Smith (1)
22     Jack Reardon
23     Earl Clark
23     Felix Zabensky
25     Jim Patrick
26     Don Miller (1)

Most Muscular
1     George Paine


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Re: AAU Mister America - Discuss the AAU History
« Reply #449 on: October 12, 2020, 11:41:30 AM »
IronMan, Vol 13, No 2, Page 10, September 1953

1953 Mr America Contest
by Peary Rader
Excerpts from "National Lifiting Championships and "Mr. America" Contest"

WE WOULD LIKE to tell you all about the big events this year in this one article so that we can give you a complete word picture of everything as we saw it. I hope that I will be able to describe this great show so that you will feel you have been there in person.

We left Alliance by auto June 1st and finally reached Chicago the 2nd where we spent two busy days investigating engraving plants for we plan to install our own plant soon and already have a man in training to operate it. While there we visited with Irvin Johnson and talked over the fine work he is doing at his gym. We also visited with Norbert Grueber at his great sporting goods store in Chicago. He has one of the most complete sporting goods stores we have ever seen though his place is too small for the thousands of articles he stocks, from barbells to table tennis. Just now the lady champion lifter, Edith Roehder is working at the store and they plan to open up a special advisory service to ladies soon. Edith looks great and she could probably break all her old records with a short period of specialized training.

We left Chicago and finally after a few other business stops we arrived in Indianapolis early the day of the 5th. We soon found the Hotel Severin where we had reservations. There were three of us, my wife and I and our 16 year old son Jack. Incidently, we drove very carefully this year as Jack had just obtained his drivers license and so was fresh on all the latest traffic laws and regulations and with his eagle eye open for all traffic signs, it is a wonder we arrived in Indianapolis in time for the show. It is surprising how slowly we had to travel at times. Jack was much inspired by the meet and vowed that he would really get into hard training. High School athletics (he engages in every phase of them) have thus far kept him so busy that he has had but little time to devote to the weights.

Name   Points
Bill Pearl   97
Richard DuBois   91
Irvin Koszewski   89¼
Steve Klisanin   88¼
George Paine   88¼
Anthony Silipini   88
Tim Leong   87½
Tim Sweeny   82¼
Dom Juliano   82
Malcom Brenner   81¾
Vic Seipke   79½
Mickey Hargitay   79
Gene Bohaty   77¼
Harry Johnson   76
Dick Garza   71¼
Bob Ballard   63¼
Ed Koeppe   62½
George Jones   59¼
John Henderson   58¾
John Lyons   58¼
Paul Smith   58¼
Jack Reardon   57¼
Felix Zabensky   54
Earl Clark   54
Jim Patrick   46¼
Don Miller   44¾
After refreshing ourselves we went down into the lobby. Since the Severin Hotel was the Official Hotel it wasn't long until in walked Henry Atkin from England. Henry is now on the west coast and will locate there with a gym. Harry "Bosco" Paschall also came in. He had come up from Florida for the show and came down from Columbus with Jack Libertore who MC'd the Mr. America contest. It wasn't long until we were in some hot discussions with Harry about what was right and wrong with the Iron Game. Harry is the biggest heckler in the game and loves to ride someone for something. We certainly have a lot of fun with him whenever we get together, much more so probably than if we agreed on everything. For the rest of the day of the 5th we sat in the lobby and greeted and talked to old friends and made new ones as contestants, officials and fans came in. We also visited the fine gym of Bobby Higgins, who did such a fine job of promoting this show.

It wasn't long until Bob Hoffman came in (he looks as young as ever and I know that makes Bob happy). Our National Chairman came in. He is doing a fine job for our game and is to be congratulated on doing a difficult job well. Charles Smith, looking bigger than ever, made his appearance on the scene. Charlie certainly puts in some long, hard hours for the game. He writes as many as 30 or 40 articles a month. John Grimek came in wearing a short jacket which made him look slender but when we kidded him about it he removed the jacket and showed us his huge arms which looked larger than ever. His young son was his constant companion and showed enthusiasm for everything that happened. John has a large family which is his greatest joy in life.

Well, those were only a few who appeared. We wish we could name them all, but space forbids this, nevertheless we enjoyed nothing more at the meet than seeing again these old friends and talking over the past, present and future. Leo Stem, George Redpath, Bob Hise, Bill Pearl (who subsequently won the Mr. America contest) all from California, as well as big Malcolm Brenner weighing about 235, Jules Bacon (who is entering the Mr. Universe Contest), John Terpak, Alyce Yarick and their fine team of lifters who later did so well, Karo Whitfield, Bob Hasse (Iron Man Photographer and author) and many others we hope we can name later. Our visiting lasted until about 2 o'clock that night.

After a good night's rest we were back in circulation again about noon when still more men arrived. The show was scheduled to start that afternoon at 2:15 P.M. but did not get under way until 3 P.M.

We arrived at the Murat Theater early but already the crowd was starting to come in. This theater was one of the nicest that any of the Nationals has ever been held in, very beautiful and ideally arranged for such a meet. Bob Higgins had done a wonderful job on the whole meet. Everything ran off smoothly and with as little delay as possible. There was plenty of room backstage for contestants and ample room on the stage for the lifting and posing. The lighting for the physique show was good but more of this later.

[skipping description of weightlifting]

...After the afternoon's lifting was over the members of the National Weightlifting Committee who were at the meet were called into the meeting for a discussion of several important points.

Bob Hoffman made a talk explaining the need for full cooperation of everyone for the good of the game. Your editor expressed the need for uniform officiating in the nationals in every class. He also suggested that the rule book be re-written and more detail be given in interpretation of the rules for the different lifts, conduct of contestants etc.

The Chairman, Mr. Clarence Johnson stated that a new rule book was being prepared and would soon be ready for the printers. We failed to ask who was doing the revision. We hope that it is very complete.

Another member suggested that the point system for judging the Mr. America event be changed to allow more points and more flexibility in judging. This is something we have been working for a long time. However it was pointed out that the international body had adopted our point system and that we should give thoughtful consideration to any change. However just because they have adopted it is no reason why we should stagnate and cease progress. If it is believed that a new system will permit better judging then we should adopt it.

Your editor brought up the question of a pre-judging system in which the judges and contestants meet in the afternoon before a contest for a more leisurely judging where they can have an opportunity to view the men under both normal lights and spot lights and in any other manner they wish. We had suggested this before and Bobby Higgins had agreed to follow this arrangement but the A.A.U. officials would not permit it until the rule book is re-written to allow it. The committee agreed that it would be better and thought it should be brought up at the Annual Convention for some action this year. A good example for the need for it was indicated this year when the men were called back for more posing repeatedly. Then after the judges were finished there was a long period when there was nothing for the audience to do but sit and wait while the judges' points were tabulated before the winners could be announced.

It was also suggested that character should be a very important consideration when making a choice for Mr. America. This was unanimously agreed on by all present in view of some past experiences. Of course, at the present time there are no points allowed for character but judges can adjust other points to compensate for this.

After a further discussion of lifting rules and regulations the meeting was adjourned and everyone went out for dinner so they could be back for another interesting session of lifting and the Mr. America sub-divisions in the evening.

(more weightlifting)

After the last lift in the 181 pound class the Sub-division of the Mr. America contest was run off. There was very little time lag here anywhere and the men were run through smoothly and quickly. Judges for this year's contest were: Peary Rader, Chairman; Charles Smith, Bob Hoffman, Harry Paschall, Bob Hise, Larry Barnholth and Alvin Roy. I had lined all the men up according to their numbers and given them their instructions and as soon as the judges were in their places they began taking their places on the posing platform as the MC, Jack Libertore called their names. They had been told that ONLY three poses would be allowed, a front, back and optional. They were all very careful in observing this rule and as a consequence everything ran off smoothly. The lighting was very good. After they were all brought out and instructed then run through individually, the judges asked for certain men to appear again for judging the different body parts. 26 men participated in this event the first night.

Malcolm Brenner won the best arms with 4 votes with Paine a close second with 3 votes. Brenner was lucky to win this as he had allowed himself to get very heavy and hadn't cut down quite enough to get the definition that he had shown before. As a result of this rather smooth appearance and a waist larger than usual he did not place very high in any event except arms. His arms of course are exceptionally large, being around 19 inches. They had good shape and just fair definition. They were without a doubt the strongest arms in the contest so all in all his winning the arms title was justified.

Best chest was won by Tony Silipini of Art Gay's gym in Rochester. This boy has one of the most outstanding physiques we have seen. He had trained down from 252 to about 215. We asked him if he was fat at 252 and he said not, that he was in hard condition. Anyhow he is a swell fellow and has a great future if he continues to train. He received 6 votes for best chest while Juliano was second with 1 vote. Silipini also won the best legs title with three votes while Bill Pearl, George Paine and Richard DuBois each received one vote. Many of the fellows had outstanding legs but those of Silipini had great size, excellent balance and symmetry along with very good definition. Bill. Pearl has perhaps the most shapely legs we have seen though they lack some in bulk compared to those of Silipini. George Paine of course, has very outstanding thighs both in size and definition. In fact, we know of no one who has more definition than this fellow. However his calves are not good. This unfortunately is a characteristic of his race. The calves have the large muscular bulk up too high to make a nice pleasing shape. This is probably the main reason he and his competitor Melvin Wells have never won a "Mr. America" title.

The best abdominal title was again won by Koszewski. This again was very close with Koszewski getting four votes and Paine getting three. These two men are so close in abdominal development that it is almost impossible to choose between them. We fail to see how Paine can miss winning this title some time in the future for he seems to improve each year. Tim Leong won the best back title by a narrow margin of 3 votes. This was a very close one with little to choose between Leong, Klisanin and Paine. Tim has a marvelous physique and photos do not do him justice.

This finished the show for the evening. It was apparent that nearly everyone was satisfied with the selections the judges had made. After going out for something to eat again we retired at a late hour (due to the considerable amount of visiting we did) to dream of a big show the following day.

(more weightlifting)

After the lifting was over at about 6 P.M. the "Mr America" contest began. I must apologize if I have failed to mention any good lifts or events that transpired in the lifting. Due to the fact that I was in charge of the Mr. America contestants and judging, I had to spend much time back stage toward the end of each lifting session in lining up the contestants, etc. However I think I got a peek at about everything that happened.

Two more judges were added to the list for the "Mr. America" contest due to the fact that the high and low scores are crossed out in the tabulating. This leaves 7 scores counted. The judges added were George Greenfield and Herb Lucy.

As soon as the judges were seated the contestants began appearing on the stage for their turn at posing. Each gave a nice demonstration of his posing ability and physique. The lighting was good and every physique showed to advantage. We wish that there were more space in which to comment on every contestant, for with but two or three exceptions, every man was tops. As we have stated before, Malcolm Brenner, who was such a favorite last year, did not possess the definition to place him in the top men this year. Mickey Hargitay who had been built up as a favorite did not place in the top men. I don't quite know why as he has a terrific physique but does not have the definition of symmetry necessary. George Paine is without a doubt one of the muscular sensations of our time but as we stated before, his calves are his weak point. Of course, there is nothing much he can do about this for they cannot be changed. All he can do is develop them to maximum size, which is hard to do for a colored man. In most instances their calves fail to respond to exercise.

Steve Klisanin who won the Jr. Mr. America title has a marvelous physique but still lacks a little of the bulk necessary for a winning physique this year. He has marvelous definition and good symmetry with a nice posing routine. Both his legs and arms could stand a little more bulk.

Vic Seipke has one of the top physiques in the country and although he may never win the top title he is always going to be near the top and who can say that he will not make great improvement and some day be a Mr. America? He has possibilities. As we have said, Tim Leong has one of the finest physiques we have seen. I was surprised that he didn't place among the first five.

Borstein is a very nicely built fellow from Higgins' gym who has a very good physique but still needs some work to place him among the top men. Irvin Koszewski is better than ever. In my opinion he is about the most perfectly developed male in the world today. He is not massive but every part of his body is developed in perfect proportion. You can't pick a weak spot anywhere. With a little wider shoulder girdle and heavier bone formation I don't see how he could help winning the title. He is not as bulky as some of the others but he has marvelous definition and his abdominal formation is perfect. He has a nice back, his arms are very good and his legs are ideal. He is one of the best at posing, and has a beautiful tan.

George Jones has a very fine body, well developed and proportioned all over. Harry Johnson is well built but needs more definition. Silipini is a superman. If he can bring down a naturally wide waist he will stand a much better chance at the title. However he has a huge chest box and this naturally tends to give him a wider waist. For a herculean physique he certainly would win the title. Juliano has a fine physique but his pectorals are out of proportion to the rest of his physique. Bohaty is very good but could stand some work on his legs. Dick Garza needs more definition.

DuBois needs more definition but all in all has a very nice physique. He will show great improvement in the future.

George Paine won the "Most Muscular" title almost unanimously. He well deserves this title for it would be hard to imagine anyone more. muscular.

We have left the new "Mr. America", Bill Pearl, until the last. We had never seen Bill but from what we had heard and from photos we had guessed that he might have a good chalice to win the title. Each year we made such a guess for our cover just before the Nats. For the past two years we have guessed right. Just now I haven't the slightest idea who we will guess on next year. We will probably be wrong tho. Anyhow we feel that the choice of Bill Pearl for the new Mr. America was one of the most popular decisions ever given. We heard no complaints whatever about first choice this year. You read Bill's story in last issue but let us tell you a little more about him. First, Bill is very retiring and modest like we are told all Mr. Americas are. However, there is no kidding about Bill. He is one of the finest fellows ever to win such a title and will surely bring it nothing but honor and respect. He is now in the Navy and is a very sincere Christian and a member of the Baptist church. He feels his responsibility as the new Mr. America and his greatest concern is that he won't be able to live up to all that he feels such a title demands in character and clean living. We have every confidence in Bill tho, for we have never known a young fellow with more determination and sincere intention of doing his best to live up to what he believes is his obligation.

As for Bill's physique, we believe he won because of his perfect symmetry and proportion rather than for any other reason. Bill has large measurements but no single part of his body stands out above the others. He does not appear large and bulky. There is a harmony of proportion that Bill possesses that you must see to appreciate. You can't find a single weak spot in his physique. I believe that the fact that he didn't win a single sub-division is a compliment to his perfect proportions. You didn't feel that he had best arms or best chest or best anything else. You just knew that he was the best man. He was a picture of perfection. There must be contrast to win in the subdivisions. Some body part must stand out above all others. There is no such contrast in Bill's physique. He has good definition, plenty of bulk and is well developed everywhere. He has a good posing routine and pleasant personality.

Leo Stern should be given much credit for bringing Bill to the top for he has spent a lot of time, thought and money to help Bill with his training, traveling to contests and giving him the best of advice.

The next four or five men who placed under Bill, who won by a margin of 6 points, were all close. It was difficult to pick the best men for the different places. It was only here that there was any variation of opinion and this was not great since all the men were so close.

I want to thank all the judges for their fine cooperation. I have every confidence in them and know that they did their sincere best to render a just decision as they saw it. Being a judge at a physique contest such as this is not an enviable task and most men accept it reluctantly as a duty they are called on to perform to the best of their ability.

We cannot fail to mention the special acts used to fill in during the slow periods of the meet. One old time strong man named L. Carson gave a very interesting display of strength, agility and balance. George Greenfield and his daughter presented a nice balancing act. Gloria Short, a beautiful contortionist showed what real flexibility is. James Park, last year's Mr. America gave a demonstration of posing that indicated he is as good as ever even though he doesn't have much time to train now. Gloria Martin a young lass of 15 demonstrated that the gals can be strong by doing an easy dead lift with 300. She expects to make a new world record shortly on this lift.

She has done 335 without much trouble. She is from Marion, Indiana. We cannot fail to mention Miss Jean Chappell who was on hand to pose with Bill Pearl for the News Reel Cameras. She is the present "Miss Marion County" and is now training for the "Miss Universe" contest. The unusual thing about it is that she is using weights to prepare herself for this title attempt. Those of you who feel that weights are not for women should see this beautiful young miss. You would feel like voting that every woman immediately start weight training.

The evening after the show Dr. Myles S. Barton, Secretary of the A.A.U. and a very hard worker for all sports, invited quite a number of officials and A.A.U. members, as well as Mr. America, to a wonderful dinner at the Athletic Club. A very enjoyable time was had by everyone. Bill Pearl and Leo Stern had to rush through it though to appear on Television, Radio etc. and then had to make a special rush plane trip to Chicago for the same purpose.

Thus ended a wonderful meet. Bobby Higgins told me afterward that he lost $180 on the meet, which, though regrettable, is not too bad. One should expect to lose on such shows and at best break even. Too many people feel that surely a man must make a fortune on a lifting and physique show but such is not the case. You'd be surprised what it costs for such a show. There are many, many hidden expenses that you would never dream of. Anyhow we must congratulate Bob on doing a wonderful job. Incidently he looks terrific-a regular little giant. I've never seen anyone with so large a neck and shoulders at his height.

We went back to our hotel and made our farewells to so many good friends who were leaving that night such as Irvin Johnson, Clarence Johnson and many of the lifters. We regret that we didn't get a complete list of all the officials of the lifting or all the men who helped in other ways. Martin Frederick did a good job keeping scorekeepers, Alyce Yarick and Mabel Rader aware of the lifts because they could not hear the announcements back on the stage.

Next year's meet will tentatively be in California unless circumstances make it necessary to change. See you all there!