In his article about the strongman Brian Shaw and the Arnold Strongman Classic, Burkhard Bilger mentions the role that Bob Hoffman, the founder of the York Barbell Company, played in making the United States the dominant force in Olympic weightlifting in the nineteen-thirties and forties:
Early on, to get around rules restricting Olympic participation to amateurs, Hoffman would hire the lifters at his factory for as little as ten dollars a week and let them train on-site. They would also promote York products in Strength and Health—the house organ, “edited in an atmosphere of perspiration and horseplay,” as Fortune put it in 1946.
“Bob took a bunch of nobodies and turned them into the greatest team in the world,” Arthur Drechsler, the chair of USA Weightlifting, told me recently.
Here, a look back at Carlton Brown’s 1937 article on the rivalry between Hoffman and bodybuilder Charles Atlas: http://nyr.kr/Pa1EKG
(Photo via YorkBarBell.com)