Harold Poole

Born December 25, 1943
Louisville, Kentucky, USA


Poole arrived (without wrapping) as a 1943 Christmas day gift to his parents in Louisville, Kentucky. His athleticism was apparent after he became quarterback on the football team at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis. He placed fourth in the state high-school wrestling championships, ran 440 yards in 50 seconds, and put the 12-pound shot 55 feet.

A speech problem caused Poole major concern, so he took off from school for a year to attend the Bogue Institute for Stammerers in Indianapolis.

In 1960, Poole entered the Mr. America and at age 16 took 18th place. His final AAU teen opportunity came in June 1963, where he won most muscular, but was the runner-up to Vern Weaver.

Three months later, Poole switched to the IFBB and, at age 19, he won the Mr. Universe. The next year, he became the first African-American to be named Mr. America (Chris Dickerson, in 1970, was the first African-American to win the AAU Mr. America). Poole then became the only man to compete in the first three Mr. Olympia contests.

He retired from IFBB competition following the 1982 Night of Champions when he placed out of the top 10.


Hall of Fame Inductees for 2004