Bodybuilders Through the Ages
Over the past 150 years, bodybuilders have gone from circus sideshows to celebrities, imparting fitness lessons along the way
- By Jesse Rhodes
- Smithsonian.com, July 20, 2009
(Bettmann / Corbis)
After claiming the titles of Mr. America in 1947, Mr. World in 1948 and Mr. Universe in 1950, U.S. Army veteran Steve Reeves parlayed his muscled frame into a successful movie career. Following a few supporting roles in American films—such as Ed Wood’s Jail Bait—Reeves went to Italy where he took center stage in a string of sword-and-sandal beefcake epics. With his classic V shape and international stardom, Reeves brought a new level of public awareness to the sport of bodybuilding.