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 :o :o :o :o   gold's gym for sale ad 1972

Arthur Jones, born in 1922, in Morrilton, Arkansas, was perhaps the most all-time controversial entrepreneur of strength training.  Throughout his life, he remained egocentric and opinionated and was, he said, "outraged" by ignorance. His father, mother, grandfather, and great-grandfather were practicing physicians,and his half-sister and half-brother were also medical doctors. He stated in his authorized biography, "Younger Women, Faster Airplanes, Bigger Crocodiles," written by John Szimanski.
          "The reason I never went to medical school, was, I wasn't inclined to work 24 hours, seven days a week. As it turned out, I worked 26 hours, eight days a week."
In 1929, the Jones family moved from the Republic of Panama, to Seminole, Oklahoma, to establish a new medical practice. The following article appeared in the March 4, 1931, Seminole newspaper regarding five-year-old Arthur and his father:
        R. R. "Curley" Turner, a local barber, is held under $1,500 bond on the charge of mayhem. Turner, employed at City Barber Shop, cut the hair of the young son of city surgeon Dr. W. E. Jones. Turner is alleged to have angered the boy and when released from the barber chair, the youngster deliberately kicked Turner. In retaliation, Turner is asserted to have slapped the child. Later, Dr. Jones appeared at the barber shop and a fight ensued. Following an exchange of blows, the two clinched and Turner reportedly bit off a large portion of Jones' ear and spat it on the sidewalk. The physician's attorney filed charges in Peace Justice James W. Pipkin's court.
Several years later, Arthur had more graphic memories of Seminole, Oklahoma, in the 1930s. He recorded:
          During that time, whores, gunfighters, thieves and general riff-raff of every sort migrated to Seminole. The jail could not hope to hold them, so they were chained like animals to pieces of pipe driven into the ground. Everyone with common sense carried a gun and they were often used. My father owned a double-barrel, ten-gauge shotgun pistol, the Chief of Police had taken from a hoodlum to give to him. In my early teens, the same Chief of Police called me to his office to issue me a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He said, 'I know you have a pistol. I know you need it, and in the likely event you have to use it, it will  be better if it's legal.'
Jones repeatedly maintained that his IQ was beyond measure and on par with the Wright brothers and Dr Albert Einstein. He claimed to have read his father's entire medical library, at least twice, before age 12, and every book in the Seminole Public Library, by age 14. With the desire to conquer the world, Arthur left school in the ninth grade and stated,
           "I should have dropped out in the sixth grade."
On his adventurous road to fame and fortune, Jones learned to fly on ramshackle airfields throughout Oklahoma and matured into a fearless barnstorming pilot. Later, he operated airlines in Latin America, flew planes throughout Africa, and owned and operated an import/export enterprise specializing in capturing and transporting snakes and a variety of reptiles and exotic animals. He claimed he logged over 3,000 flight hours during one three-year period throughout 57 foreign countries.
In 1941, Arthur lied about his age to join the United States Navy. He spent time in Los Angeles, California, in the middle 1940s and trained at Vic Tanny's Gym in Santa Monica, with bodybuilding champions George Eiferman, Armand Tanny, and John Farbotnik.
During the 1960s, Jones doubled as a filmmaker, and claimed to have produced more than 300 television films and motion pictures. His better-known TV series included Professional Hunter, Wild Cargo, Capture, and Call of the Wild. His final production, Operation Elephant, aired on CBS in 1970.
Arthur, with the help of his son Gary, was responsible for the idea, design, and development of Nautilus gym equipment, and recalled,
          "Nautilus exercise machines were an accumulation of years of trial-and-error, with the journey beginning in the late 1940s, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My friend Percy Cunningham handed me ten dollars to build a piece of equipment for the local YMCA. Each country I spent time in, I tried to improve on the devices I built to work out on."
In 1968, Jones found himself at least $500,000 in debt, following an ill-fated wild animal filming project, which ended in Rhodesia. The Rhodesian government confiscated more than $1.5 million worth of his equipment and belongings, which he was not able to retrieve.
Returning to Slidell, Louisiana, Arthur borrowed $2,500 from his half sister to fund the fabrication of a resistance exercise machine he was attempting to build in the family's one-car garage. Arthur's 16-year-old son, Gary, designed an off-centered cam as part of the prototype, whose purpose was to cause the resistance of the exercise to vary in intensity as the user worked the lever arm of the apparatus throughout it's full range of motion.
Labeled the "Blue Monster," the prototype Nautilus machine was previewed in the lobby of the Culver City California Auditorium during the 1970 AAU "Mr. America" contest. Jones had transported the cumbersome unit in a rental trailer, and arrived in Los Angeles with seven dollars in his pocket and an expired credit card.
From 1974 through 1982, Jones dominated the commercial fitness market and claimed more money was spent on Nautilus machines than on the combined sales of all commercial gym equipment purchased.
By 1984, approximately 4,700 Nautilus Fitness Centers covered the United States. Complete lines of the equipment were the choice in physical rehabilitation centers, professional sports teams training rooms, colleges, high schools, and private facilities, despite the belief of a large majority of weight-training experts that traditional training with free weights produced superior results.
In Lake Helen, Florida, Jones built a $75 million corporate headquarters, which incorporated sound stages, film editing rooms and two homes. His privately held company had an estimated reported annual income of $300 million and was regarded as the largest manufacturer of exercise machines in the world. Physique legends John Grimek, Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, Sergio Oliva, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Boyer Coe, Mike and Ray Mentzer and Casey Viator made their pilgrimage to meet the cantankerous tycoon and to train on Nautilus equipment.
Following the sale of Nautilus Sports/Medical Industries, Inc., Jones founded the Med X Corporation to pursue research and development projects he began in the 1970s. He explained,
          "Dedicating over 20 years of my life and $80 million perfecting the Med X medical technology, in 1991, another line of exercise machines was added to the Med X medical group. These machines were a vast improvement over my original Nautilus line."
Retiring from Med X in 1996, Arthur Jones, the gun toting, third world mercenary who had married five times, chain-smoked his way through life and drank quarts of coffee each day, proudly stated,
          "I've been broke more times than I care to count and I still made the Forbes Fortune list of the 400 richest by the mid-1980s. When I sold Nautilus Sports/Medical Industries in 1986, I owned a large farm located north of Ocala, Florida. The 350 acres of prime real estate housed the largest privately owned airport. including three Boeing 707 airliners and the largest exclusively owned collection of exotic wild animals. My menagerie consisted of 100 African Elephants, 4,000 crocodilians, three albino rhinos and Micky, my 400 pound pet gorilla."
In the late 1990s, Jones was living in a modest home in Deland, Florida, when, And God Laughs, his self-aggrandizing autobiography, was published. He closed an interview by asserting:
           "Within my life, I've accomplished 50 things; any one of which others would give anything to have done once. I've been the length of the Congo, Nile and Amazon. I've captured adult crocodiles and African elephants. I've invented a camera mount so steady you can use it from a helicopter flying in a whirlwind, and the picture will be in focus. I've run a jeep into a tree at 60 miles per hour. I've been bitten by poisonous snakes 24 times, and hundreds of times by non-poisonous snakes. I've survived a couple of plane crashes, that weren't my fault, was chewed up by a lion and a myriad of other cats, was shot six times, axed once and stabbed on occasion. I've killed at least 600 elephants and 73 men and I'm more sorry for the elephants!"
Arthur Allen Jones, died of natural causes on August 28, 2007, at age 85.



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