The Best Physical Culturists of the 1940's

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Best Physical Culturists representing each decade during the past 100 years.

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The Best Physical Culturists of the 1940's

Post by Harry Hayfield » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:50 am

Overview
The first half of the decade was dominated by the Second World War but Hollywood was able to provide fuel to the fire of physical culture thanks to the likes of Victor Mature who having been rejected for membership of the US Navy, due to colour blindness, did manage to serve in the Coastguard instead but once the war was over he resumed his film career and became the poster boy for the "sword and sandal" genre of film appearing in "Samson and Delilah" in 1949 and prompting Groucho Marx to comment "No picture can hold my interest when the leading man's bust is bigger than the leading lady's."

At the same time Muscle Beach started to come into prominence with bodybuilders, gymnasts, weightlifters all taking turns to share the spotlight with such luminaries as Clancy Ross, George Eiferman, Lou Degni and Dick DuBois being photographed and even filmed, and such was the desire to show that the human spirit could not be stopped that at the 1948 London Olympics (the first for 12 years) saw the rise of names that would dominate the field of strength for years to come, Julius Creus (who won silver in the 56kg class) and went on to become Britain's longest serving weightlifting Olympian and Axel Grönberg who became the first man to win and defend a Greco-Roman wrestling title

Rules
1) All nominees must have been born prior to 1920
2) All nominees must have come to public prominence between 1940 and 1949
3) Nominations will be accepted in text (name of physical culturist), images or video (labelled with the name, country of birth and date of image)
4) Nominations will close at 0000 PDT on April 8th 2019
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

raynobile
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1940's

Post by raynobile » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:58 am

my nomination is britains don dorans. don was born in scotland in 1913.he was a mr britain winner in the 1940s.won his height class in 1951 nabba universe. ran a postal personal training buisness which he started in the mid 1940s and lasted 20yrs.was a competitive cyclist also.

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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1940's

Post by peter yates » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:30 pm

Well there are as with the other decades many who could fill this slot but were not born before 1920.So my nomination goes to Jack Lalanne who was prominent in many decades of the 20th century. Born in 1914 he was already well known in the world of strength and fitness by the 1940s as a teacher and operator of several gymnasiums. Sporting a great physique, he was was strong, athletic and had incredible endurance.He was at the forefront of the modern health club movement and preached fitness and health for the whole family,also inventing many pieces of training equipment. Even though his popular TV show would not air until the 1950s, a show that would encourage thousands to improve their health,he nevertheless was still a driving force in the 1940s. His feats of strength and endurance are legendary and he practiced what he preached his entire,long life.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1940's

Post by 28kgKB » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:13 pm

I would go with John Grimek on this one, Jack Lalanne, Steve Stanko, Steve Reeves, Clancy Ross....et al.....

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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1940's

Post by peter yates » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:43 pm

Hi John,
Grimek is already in as representing the 30s. Many of the others you mentioned, who i also thought of, were born after 1920 so are not eligible under Harry's criteria for this decade.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1940's

Post by Harry Hayfield » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:18 am

28kgKB wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:13 pm
I would go with John Grimek on this one, Jack Lalanne, Steve Stanko, Steve Reeves, Clancy Ross....et al.....
Steven Stanko (born 1917, valid nomination)
Steve Reeves (born 1926, invalid nomination, valid nomination for 1950's)
Clarence Ross (born 1923, invalid nomination, valid nomination for 1950's)
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1940's

Post by Harry Hayfield » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:38 pm

The candidates duly nominated are:
Don Dorans (GBR)
Jack LaLanne (USA)
Steven Stanko (USA)

A profile of the three nominees will be posted on April 21st, voting will occur between April 22nd and the 29th with the winner declared on April 30th with nominations opening for the 1950's on the same day.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1940's

Post by Harry Hayfield » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:03 pm

Don Dorans (GBR)

Born in 1912, Dan won the Mr. Britain contest in 1943 and over the space of the next thirty years won the Mr. Universe (Short class) and placed top three in each of the contests he entered. Following his win in 1943 he went on develop his own training course (called "The Mr. Britain course") and invented new developments to various training machines, which piqued the interest of the publishers of Health and Strength magazine who he would contribute to on a number of occasions. His death in 1999 at the age of 87 was marked in the magazine as "The passing of the finest developed man in the world" noting that the accolade had often been made of him during his contest run.

Jack LaLanne (USA)

Jack (or Francois Henri Jack to give him his full name) LaLanne was born just before the end of the First World War and was known as being the originator of the term "fitness freak" but he had very good reason for be called that. By his own admission he was a "sugarholic" until 1929 with some people suggesting, in recent years, that he also have had undiagnosed ADHD or another form of autism, but following a public lecture by Paul Bragg he turned his life around and how! Just six years later he opened the first fitness gym in Oakland, California. Following the second world war and the rapid uptake of television he had another barnstorming idea and hosted a small fifteen minute programme encouraging viewers to "do something" which ran for the remainder of his life and holds the record for the longest running health programme in the world.

But he wasn't just someone who preached, he did. The feats of endurance that he did reads like a list of "Man, how is that possible?" from in 1954 swimming the length of the Golden Gate bridge underwater with a total of 140lbs of equipment, swimming the channel of the Golden Gate bridge whilst towing a 2,500lb cabin cruiser (which thanks to the currents turned a one mile swim in to a six and a half mile swim), towing boats with between 70 and 80 people for a distance of a mile to, being handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000lb boat through any number of water channels around the world.

When his death was announced in 2001 Governor Schwarzenegger (who had once exclaimed "That Jack LaLanne's an animal!") credited LaLanne for being "an apostle for fitness" by inspiring "billions all over the world to live healthier lives" so it perhaps more than fitting that LaLanne was inducted to the California Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Steven Stanko (USA)

Born in 1917 Steve was a heavyweight bodybuilder and weightlifter. Winning a silver medal at the 1938 World Championships with lifts of 115kg, 127½kg and 155kg), he also set three unofficial world records in 1941 in the snatch, clean and jerk and total. So his transition to bodybuilding in 1944 should not have some as a huge surprise nor should his win in the Mr. America contest (open and junior class) nor his being crowned as "The Most Muscular Man in America" in the 1946 tall class nor his overall win in the 1947 Mr. Universe. And who do we have to thank for this? Bob Hoffman, who spotted him in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and convinced him to move to York, PA at York Barbell. Indeed such was his fame even as a weightlifter that he was mentioned in the Time Magazine in July 1939.

Voting will close at 0000 PDT on April 30th, where the result will be announced and nominations will open for the 1950's
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1940's

Post by peter yates » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:05 pm

Thanks Harry, my picks is Jack LaLanne for first, Dorans second and Stanko third.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: The Best Physical Culturists of the 1940's

Post by raynobile » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:26 am

my nominations are don dorans 1st........jack lallane 2nd....steve stanko 3rd.

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