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Muscle Builder, Vol 5, Num 1, page 22, August 1955

Meet the New Mr. America!
Steve Klisanin Scores Upset To Win Mr. America Crown
ON SUNDAY, June 4th, at the Masonic Temple in Cleveland, Ohio, a fighting U.S. Marine defied the predictions of experts to capture the big bodybuilding title of the year, Mr. America.

The Marine, Sgt. Steve Klisanin, outflanked a field of tough competition to end up a full 5 points ahead of his closest rival, another dark horse, Raymond Shaffer.

In cornering the title, muscular Steve hit the top after 5 years as a bodybuilder, with his most important victory up to this Mr. America event being the Jr. Mr. America crown he won in 1953.

Now in his second hitch in the service, what makes his victory most outstanding, and one reason why the experts overlooked him in making their predictions, is that Steve is on active duty, couldn't devote the hours to training other contestants could. But, what he may have lacked in training time he more than made up for in exercise effort when work-outs could be taken, proving once again that it is the man behind the weights that makes the champion, with determined effort, plus a never-say-die spirit being the real secret of championship success.

In taking second place, Raymond Schaffer, made an equally surprising and unheralded showing to win by a comfortable margin over this year's Jr. Mr. America Vic Siepke who was voted a tie for third with Don Van Fleteran. Harry Johnson, who won the Eastern Division Jr. Mr. America in 1954 was 4th.

Subdivision trophies were well distributed with Raymond Shaffer taking Mst Muscular. Klisanin gathered up the Best Abdominals; Anthonly Sillipini, Chest; Arthur Harris, Arms; while the West Coast's Ron Lacy walked off with the Best Legs and then made it a double victory by capturing Best Back as well.

The weightlifting competition which was a part of this same show saw powerful Paul Anderson on a record breaking spree with a world record clean and jerk of 436 pounds and a world record total in the three Olympic Lifts of 1160 pounds.

The show was sponsored by Joe Raymond, popular Cleveland Gym owner and illustrating this article are some highlights to give you a ringside seat at this important event.

1956 Mr America - AAU

1     Ray Schaefer
2     Ron Lacy
3     Gene Bohaty
4     Art Harris
5     Vic Seipke
6     Dean Higuchi
6     Harry Johnson (1)
8     Robert Hinds
9     Tim Sweeney (1)
10     Joe Lazzaro (1)
11     Pete Ganios
12     George Jones (1)
13     Bruce Randall
14     John Leahy
15     Lou Degni
16     Edward Chrupcala
17     Joe Mauri
18     Gene Wells
19     R Berenguer
20     Tom Sansone
21     Constantine Kosiras
22     Frederick Coe
23     Len Bosland

Most Muscular
1     Art Harris
2     Ray Schaefer
3     Robert Hinds

Behind The Scenes
Mr. America 1956
photos and text by Abe Goldberg
A greatly improved Ray Schaefer wins top award!
Sensational Art Harris cops Most Muscular.
Ron Lacy corners second place - seems like sure winner for next year.
Newcomer Bob Hines makes brilliant showing.
Read all about it here...
THERE WERE THRILLS by the hundreds, excitement which reached the boiling point and a really tough job for the judges in the 1956 Mr. America Contest. Held on June 1 and 2nd at the University of Pennsylvania Palestra, Philadelphia, the event will go down in bodybuilding history as one of the most brilliant since the first Mr. America was crowned in 1939.

Imagine if you can such top stars as the giant Art Harris, steel-muscled Gene Bohaty, popular Lou Degni, perfectly-proportioned Harry Johnson, mighty Ron Lacy, fabulous Ray Schaefer, an improved Vic Seipke and handsome Tim Sweeney lined up on one stage interspersed with sensational newcomers like Robert Hines, and you'll easily understand why a mere 9 points separated the winner from the 7th place contestant.

When the score cards of the judges were finally tablulated, Ray Schaefer, who won most muscular award in the 1955 contest, was announced as being Mr. America 1956! Hot behind him was Ronald Lacy 2nd, Gene Bohaty 3rd, Art Harris 4th, Vic Seipke 5th and Harry Johnson 6th.

In the Most Muscular Division, the judging was even closer. Art Harris was 1st with Ray Schaefer 4/10ths of a point behind for 2nd while my pupil Robert Hines lived up to my predictio in a recent article, by capturing 3rd in his first contest.

With Harris spending the last month conditioning himself at my gym and Hines being a steady member for the past year, I had reason to be pleased with the showing of my men.

With staff photographer Bob Delmonteque handling the contest from the front stage, I spent my time snapping 'behind the scenes' incidents mainly, and feel these will interest the reader.

Muslce Power, Vol 19 No 7, Page 10, August 1956

The 1956 Mr. America Contest
by Muscle Powers Roving Reporter
Senior National Weightlifting Championships
THE 1956 Mr. America Contest held in the University of Pennsylvania had perhaps the toughest competition of all and ended with 23 year old Ray Schaefer, Korean War Veteran as Bodybuilding King Of The Year.

Ray, a boiler maker by trade, took two months off prior to the contest for intensive training and he certainly showed great improvement over last year when he came second. His added bulk and muscularity was most impressive.

Ron Lacy, the muscular marvel from Lexington, Kentucky, placed second and will certainly be tough to beat in 1957. 38 year old mathematical genius Gene Bohaty took third place honors.

Fourth place went to Arthur Harris who should have been next to Schaefer in my opinion. Art's posing brought down the house. His definition and bulk is amazing and no one was surprised when he took Most Muscular Honors, beating the Mr. America winner, Ray Schaefer.

Despite the fact that Vic Seipke was better than ever, he could only place 5th, a tribute to the caliber of the leading contestants. Harry Johnson, who also looked terrific placed 6th while Tony Silipini came in 5th. Tony would have walked away with some Special Division awards had these been held.

1957 Mr America - AAU

1     Ron Lacy
2     Gene Bohaty
3     Harry Johnson (1)
4     Tom Sansone
5     Bill Golumbick
6     Bruce Randall

Most Muscular
1     Ron Lacy


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