Leo Robert, Mr. Universe Pro

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Growing up Leo was active in many sports including hockey, baseball, tennis and soccer, fostering in him a love of movement and activity. As he grew into manhood he made a decision to follow a health first lifestyle. As such when competing as a bodybuilder or guest posing he was always in the best condition as this was a year round lifestyle commitment.

Once retired from competition Leo operated several gyms helping countless others make personal transformations and guiding them to lives of health and well-being. He believed and taught that training should be a natural part of life, to have patience and allow the body to change naturally and harmoniously, and that health is a gift to be nurtured with diet, exercise and balanced living.  

When obstacles came Leo’s way he viewed them as a chance to learn and become stronger in spirit and determination.

Leo believed in living in harmony with nature and in protecting the environment.

Humble, inspiring, dedicated, thoughtful, good-natured, intelligent are all adjectives that could be used to describe Leo Robert.      

Taking everything together this man proved with his whole life that he epitomizes the physical culture ideal.

Two well-known physical culture historians, David Chapman and David Gentle had these words to say about Leo:

David Chapman wrote:

“I was fortunate to meet Leo Robert, and I have continued ever since to respect and admire him as a person and an athlete. After I moved to Seattle about a quarter of a century ago, I resolved to make the short trip up to Vancouver, BC and visit Leo. I was writing a column for Ironman Magazine, and this gave me an excellent excuse to get together with him and interview him for my article. Leo had retired by 1990, and he was living in a very nice condo in North Vancouver. Naturally, I knew of Leo from the many articles in Weider Magazines and by the spectacular photos by Tony Lanza, Russ Warner and others that accompanied them." -David Chapman
David Webster posted on Iron History Forums Dec 2, 2016. Reprinted with permission.

"I chatted with Leo, and I got the material I needed for my article. Leo looked great when I met him, although he must have been in his late 60’s, but he was lively and intelligent. I remember that one of the things we talked about was how to age wisely and productively. “I know my body is deteriorating,” he admitted, “but very, very slowly.” Leo added, “one of the reasons I choose to workout every day is to prove a point. I want to show that even when I become 80 years old, my body can be in good shape. I also want to verify that a person can live to be 100 years old and still be in good health.” He did not quite achieve this goal, but in those photographs of him in his prime, he is still a work of art – immortal and beautiful." -David Chapman
David Chapman December 2, 2016 on Iron History Forum

David Gentle wrote:

“Leo Robert exemplified everything a physical culture devotee should aim to be and achieve. He was generous with his time and friendship. Leo was one of the first bodybuilders to display both a strong, powerful, bulky physique combined with definition, especially of his abdominal muscles. He won the most prestigious title in “Muscledom,” the neutral and honest NABBA, Mr. Universe, and I feel if he had wished he could have continued winning it. His memory is engraved into the history of physical culture and we are proud to have known and loved him.” -David Gentle, December 11, 2016 Personal Transmission
David Gentle posted on Iron History Forums Dec 2, 2016. Reprinted with permission

To learn more about Leo Robert and his career, click here

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