I was born on 11/9/1919 in Alvin, Texas on a small ranch 60 miles outside of Houston.
At the age of 14, I was 5'11' and weighed 145 lbs. My nickname was "stringbean," but I was a good athlete. However, I wanted to be the best athlete in Texas.
This was the year 1933, in the midst of the great depression. I saved for a year $9.95 and I sent away for a Bob Hoffman's 310 lb 6' barbell set. This included included dumbbells, cables, wristroller, iron boots, skip rope and grip crusher. All of this for just $9.95! When the weights came I was so excited, I felt like I was having an orgasm. I built a stand for the barbells in our big barn. My goal was to be able to jerk the weight overhead.
It took two long years, but it happened at the age of 16. I lifted the 310 lbs. When I got the weights it was the beginning of June and for three months during the summer vacation I worked out 7 days a week. 3 hrs in the morning, 3 hrs in the after noon and 2 hours in the evenings. It was a complete obsession. I had to have the strongest and the best body in Texas. I put on 40 lbs of hard rock muscle in these months. That fall going back to high school I became the best athlete in Texas because I was bigger, stronger and smarter than the others.
My secret was that I had this goal and this impossible dream in life and I never let go until I accomplished it. I have lived every day of my life like this up until now. I never let go. I persist until I succeed. In fact, I still have this blazing determination and burning desire. It's changed a little, now at the age of 84. Now I want to be the best built senior citizen on the planet and be like the pied piper with millions of people following me, so I can show them a better lifestyle, so they can enjoy life to the fullest as I have.
I joined the U.S. coastguard in 1942 and worked in Brooklyn, New York. I worked with Jack Dempsey, 'one of the best heavy weight boxing champions in the world' implementing his fitness program. After that I was in Hollywood as an actor but didn't feel very comfortable doing the acting.
Since I had a naturopathic doctors degree, I became the doctor of the stars taking care of such stars as:
- Clark Gable
- James Dean
- Tyrone power
- Errol Flynn
- Marlon Brando
- John Wayne
- Marilyn Monroe
- Rita Hayworth
- Gloria Swanson
- Betty Grable
- Matt Dillon
Just about everybody in Hollywood that had a weight problem. My job was to take any where from 5 to 15 lbs off so they would be ready for the movie.
In the early 50's I went to work for Joe Weider on his editorial staff and continued to work with Joe, on and off for over 50 years. About 1955, I went into the health club business with Ray Wilson and Dick Minns which spanned over a 30 year period. We opened over 500 health clubs which included American Health and Silhouette Health Clubs, International Health Clubs, Bob Delmonteque Health Clubs, Executive Health Clubs, Presidents First Lady health Clubs, Jack Lalanne European Health Spas and Family Fitness Centers.
I retired at the age of 65 and wondered what I could do about aging. I was a physical culturist so I knew all about health, fitness and exercise. Now I wanted the best body on this planet. Since we have a home in Palm Springs, I went to the best, Frank Zane, three times Mr. Olympia and one of the three people who ever beat Arnold Schwarzenegger. I spent a week with Frank, and Frank fine tuned me to the point where every year my body got better and better. I actually peaked out at the age of 80. Now I am 84 and I believe I have the best body for that age on this planet.
I actually am growing younger as I'm getting older. And this starts with the mindset, because you can do anything you want to do in life if you want it bad enough. There's nothing you cannot accomplish. So for any of you seniors, I know it's never too late to get going. All you need is the goal and the impossible dream. You need a plan, you have to organize yourself and you've got to work at it. There has to be a spiritual side of you. You have to so intensely believe that you can do it and that is the secret to making it happen. Because you must persist until you succeed. You can never give up.
As you grow older you have choices in life. To enjoy life to the fullest on one hand, on the other hand, sit down in your rocking chair waiting to die. The secret is making the right decision.
The highlights of my career have been working with Jack Dempsey, one of the greatest fighters ever, Joe Weider for helping me build my image as it is today. Ray Wilson for letting me work with him as his partner. Dick Minns for his great innovative ability in helping me market myself. Rocky Marciano for letting me train him for the Jersey Joe Wolcott fight. And the millions of people that I've helped to a better way of life.
Good health is yours for the taking.