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History of the IFBB Professional League, Part 2

Submitted by IFBB Pro League Staff


By Joe Weider

The first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott, is crowned by Ben and Joe Weider on the evening of
September 18, 1965, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City


"We want Scott … we want Scott!" To hear this at the beginning of an IFBB physique show … during or after is not unusual. But at 2 A.M. — two hours after the final curtain … well, that's another story.

The streets surrounding the Brooklyn Academy of Music were still jammed with fans hoping to catch one last glimpse of the great Larry Scott, who had two hours earlier taken the new MR. OLYMPIA crown without a fight. Larry had left the theatre soon after the crowning, but those who missed seeing him refused to believe he had gone — and they were still there at 2 A.M., pounding on the doors to get in to see the greatest bodybuilder in the world.

This excitement … the enthusiasm in the streets early that morning after — had been generated over the several months leading up to the 1965 IFBB MR. UNIVERSE — MR. AMERICA — MR. OLYMPIA — MISS AMERICANA MUSCLE/BEAUTY show. It had reached its climax earlier in the evening during the posing — when the judges and fans agreed right down the line that Dave Draper was the best in the AMERICA … that Earl Maynard would be the new MR. UNIVERSE … that Vera Ann Schultz would win the MISS AMERICANA title … that Larry Scott would be declared MR. OLYMPIA — the greatest bodybuilder in the world.

Early in the evening, Dave Draper beat out
Chet Yorkton and Dave Sheppard to win the
Tall Class and Overall Mr. America title

A packed house turned out to witness the greatest of the great bodybuilding spectaculars. Each year the IFBB tops its preceding big show — and everyone wonders how the next can make its mark. But it always does. The crowds get bigger … the contestants multiply in quantity and quality … the production becomes more exciting … the trophies are always bigger and more unusually beautiful. This year several hundred fans had to be turned away … the Academy was packed to beyond capacity. But the lucky ones who had purchased their tickets months ahead of time and those who were wise enough to arrive very early in the evening were lucky to get in on bodybuilding's biggest.

The houselights dimmed as the band struck up the National Anthem and the fans rose as the curtain opened to reveal the greatest muscle/beauty cast of all-time. In the front row stood the flag bearers — 1964 MISS AMERICANA Beverly Hebert in the center holding the American flag. And to her right and left the 1965 contestants, each holding the flag of his country. With the last note of the Anthem the flashbulbs began popping and the stage was flooded with light.

We were off to a flying start. After the judges were introduced (there were 10 … Kenny Ackles; Ralph Blanco; Leroy Colbert; Ralph Giaco; Ed Jubinville; Freddy Massaro Jack Meinero; Tom Minichiello; Dr. Frederick Tilney; Dr. Kimon Voyages) IFBB President Ben Weider officially welcomed the audience. Then emcee Bud Parker introduced the first act — Chips & Co., a fast-rising rock 'n' roll group … soon to be featured on The Ed Sullivan Show and Hullabaloo. As a tribute to the foreign bodybuilders they did their new number, just recorded but not yet released. The fans were enthusiastic and showed it with thunderous applause.

Then, the MISS AMERICANA lineup … pretty girls posing to the music of Marty Kaye and his band — each girl receiving a round of applause and the enthusiastic whistles from the guys out front.

And next, the first of the great muscle contests for 1965 — the MR. AMERICA lineup. One by one each contestant took his place on the posing dais and went through matchless posing routines … each a study in muscular symmetry and grace — the impact heightened by the background music.

The favorites soon became apparent — and the judges (as it turned out)and the fans agreed. The biggest hands went to Dave Draper, Chet Yorton and Zabo Koszewski. Draper — because he is spectacular … Yorton — because he is powerful … Koszewski — because he is lasting.

Later in the evening, Earl Maynard (England)
captured the Tall Class and Overall Mr. Universe title

Draper caught the most applause. The fans had seen his pictures in the magazines … they had heard about him — but until this moment they had their doubts. Now they were sure. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that he would be declared the new MR. AMERICA. Dave has all the ideal qualities — mammoth size, muscular symmetry and peak definition, posing grace … and that "something extra" you might call "MR. AMERICA quality" — the "unknown factor" Reeves showed over Pedersen. It's that "all-American MR. AMERICA" wholesome glow — something difficult to describe but unmistakably clear when you see it.

Others in the MR. AMERICA who received top hands were 16 year-old Robert Ascoles, a remarkable young bodybuilder; David Sheppard, a young carbon copy of Sergio Oliva; Richard Giofu, another top youngster (17) under the Navy flag; Mike Ferraro, for his superior posing ability; Wally Farrell, a remarkable "old-timer" of 41; Nick Perrotti, whose definition was at its peak.

After a brief intermission the second act opened with another rock 'n' roll group … in step with the times — The Malibus. And then, the MR. UNIVERSE competition … truly international in scope.

Trinidad and Tobago alone sent 6 men … 1 from Grenada … a couple from Bermuda … several from Canada … Mexico … Great Britain … Israel … Argentina … the Philippines … the Bahamas … the United States. Each country represented sent its best men. Of course, the two most popular were Great Britain's Earl Maynard and Rick Wayne — with both judges and fans. They received tremendous ovations.

Glen Wells, a newcomer from the Bahamas, showed great potential for future IFBB competitions; Eddie Bates from Trinidad was a muscular surprise — a bombshell of muscle standing only 4' 11" high. Every contestant received a tremendous hand and there was a lot of variety, especially in the posing styles as seen in bodybuilders from various parts of the world.

After a brief musical interlude the curtain flew open to reveal the entire cast of contestants and officials — ready on stage for the awards. And here are the winners:

Larry Scott, Mr. America and Mr. Universe, is the
first winner of the MR. OLYMPIA

MR. AMERICA: Overall Winner … Dave Draper (Hollywood); Most Muscular … Chet Yorton (Santa Monica); Best Arms … Draper; Best Back … Yorton; Best Chest … Tommy Aybar (New York City); Best Abdominals … Zabo Koszewski (Venice) Best Legs … Yorton; Short Class … 1st, Joe Nista, Jr. (N. Long Beach); 2nd, Johnny Maldonado (Brooklyn); 3rd, Bernie Booth (Springfield); Medium Class … 1st, Nick Perrotti ,(Brooklyn); 2nd, Mike Ferraro (Buffalo); 3rd, Koszewski; Tall Class … 1st, Draper; 2nd, Yorton; 3rd, David Sheppard (New York City).

MR. UNIVERSE: Overall Winner … Earl Maynard (Manchester, England); Most Muscular … Rock Stonewall (Chicago); Best Arms … Rick Wayne (London, England); Best Back … Stonewall; Best Chest … Maynard; Best Abdominals … Eddie Bates (Port of Spain, Trinidad); Best Legs … Frank Zane (Edwardsville, Pa.); Short Class … 1st, Wayne; 2nd, Stonewall; 3rd, Guillimo Maldonado (Mexico City); Medium Class … 1st, Zane; 2nd, Sam Martin (Santa Monica); 3rd, Eddie Davis (Elizabeth, N.J.); Tall Class … Maynard; 2nd, Christopher Forde (Barataria, Trindad); 3rd, Glen Wells (Nassau, Bahamas).

MISS AMERICANA: Winner … Vera Ann Schultz (Bellerose, N.Y.); 2nd, Priscilla Paquette (Springfield, Mass.); 3rd, Suzanne Karter (New Rochelle, N.Y.); Most Shapely … Schultz.

Every contestant received an IFBB diploma and a 6" gold and marble trophy — for every contestant was a "winner" in his or her own right. Only the very best are accepted for competition in these contests. The official winners received a total of 34 beautiful trophies — several standing 6' high — all beautifully designed by Arthur Schneider of The Atlantic Trophy Co., in New York City. The pictures of these trophies speak for themselves. The Best Arms trophies were donated, appropriately, by the Man with the World's Largest Muscular Arms, Leroy Colbert — of the World Health & Sport Center, in New York City. And Jack Meinero of Brooklyn's M. V Sport Shop presented a garland of red roses to the new MISS AMERICANA (appropriately, 1964 MISS AMERICANA Beverly Hebert was on hand to award the trophy to the new winner … and she helped out tremendously backstage with the girls).

Harold Poole, Mr. America and Mr. Universe,
placed second to Larry Scott at the

Ordinarily, this would mark the end of a great IFBB spectacular. Certainly, the fans had already seen plenty — the best physiques the world has to offer. But tonight they would see something new — the introduction of what will soon become the world's greatest physique contest … the 1965 MR. OLYMPIA.

This contest, open only to top title winners, will draw the greatest each year. And winners may return to try again — to re-establish greatness each succeeding year. And year by year this contest will grow … and it will quickly become the one great incentive to keep the stars training.

This year men like Harold Poole, Earl Maynard and Larry Scott competed. As each man stepped into the light he received a tremendous ovation. But even before Larry Scott came out the fans chimed, "We want Scott … we want Scott!" As soon as he stepped out of the wings the auditorium exploded with thunderous applause. It was deafening … a roar … and flashbulbs flooded the stage with so much light that it seemed as if the sun had rose. The roar became a deafening hum and the floor actually trembled from the pounding of feet. The crowd went wild — mad with excitement and enthusiasm … and it was clear that Scott was the winner — that he had been unanimously declared the world's greatest bodybuilder … the first of the great bodybuilders — the first MR. OLYMPIA.

When the beautiful jeweled crown was awarded (this crown, by the way, was entirely hand made — crystal and ruby on gold, lined with red velvet and trimmed with leopard … by George Alagantakis of the G. A. Novelty Co., in New York City) — when the crown was awarded to Scott the fans were numb — but they still cheered. And after several hundred more photographs were taken the curtain slowly closed — only to end another annual IFBB spectacular.

Snapped into realization again by the houselights, the fans rushed into the streets and surrounded the Academy. It was a sea of people — and as each contestant left the theatre that night, each was greeted with a round of applause and cheers. Several contestants were tossed onto the shoulders of enthusiastic well-wishers — as they triumphantly marched them through the streets. And until 2 A.M. and later, hundreds were still outside — waiting for the great Scott.

Earl Maynard, Mr. Universe,
placed third to Larry Scott at the

Think this report is exaggerated? Believe us … we couldn't begin to express on paper the excitement you missed if you were not there. To you we say — join us next year for the greatest of the great bodybuilding shows.

To Ben and Joe Weider go thanks for making it all possible. To Bud Parker go thanks for the months of work in planning and organizing and presenting the show. To aids Richard Ballard, Roy Gordon, Al Townsend and Jon Twichell go thanks for assuring a smooth presentation.

To so many others go thanks for a job not possible without their help. Like Frank Ferrera — for the "extra touch" he provided by making the contestants look that much better after he tackled their hairstyles. Like Tom Minichiello (honored as IFBB New York City Director this evening) who helped generate enthusiasm among contestants and fans for months at his Mid-City Health Club, in New York City. Like Roger Villeneuve, Academy House Manager, who goes all-out in accommodating us … who quietly overlooks the aftermath of rubble after we leave.

Next year the 1966 IFBB MR. UNIVERSE CONTEST will be held in Tel Aviv. But on September 17th the Academy will once again host the 1966 IFBB spectacular … the 1966 IFBB MR. AMERICA — MR. WORLD — MR. OLYMPIA — MISS AMERICANA MUSCLE/BEAUTY SHOW. Will you be with us? Decide now and guarantee yourself a seat by ordering early. Ticket prices (reserved seats) will be $10, orchestra rows 1-7 and box-seats above stage; $8, orchestra rows 8-14; $5, all other orchestra seats; $3, mezzanine; $2, balcony. Send your check or money order to; Bud Parker, Contest, 801 Palisade Ave., Union City, N.J. Do it now. And if you're planning to compete, write to Bud at the same address for an entry-blank.

Don't forget to check "The Latest Scoop," "IFBB News and Notes," and the special contest ads in this issue and in future issues for the latest contest information — including news on the 1966 TEENAGE & SR. MR. EASTERN AMERICA SHOW — which will be held at the Academy on April 30th. And don't forget to pick up this month's MR. AMERICA for more (and different) exclusive contest pictures!

Muscle up … you're in the Weider generation of champions!

*All photographs in this article are courtesy of Weider Publications.

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