Well, it’s John Grimek of course!
John Grimek was an undefeated bodybuilder until his last contest in 1949 at the AAU Mr. America against notables such as Clarence Ross and Armand Tanny. Born in 1910 in New Jersey, John Grimek had an immense passion for bodybuilding and early in his training won the attention of countless New York photographers. The more attention he would get, the more he lived by his own motto:
“No matter how hard I work out, I can only dream of this level of validation.”
Grimek remained loyal to working out and spent countless hours a day at the gym, which is when he quickly developed an interest in Olympic weightlifting. In 1936, he became a national champion and was chosen to represent Team USA in weightlifting at the Olympic Games.
Shortly after his weightlifting career, Grimek went on to bodybuilding but still competed and won weightlifting contests up until his retirement. From 1940-1941, Grimek won the AAU Mr. America Competition and his victories created more of a ruckus than a challenge for fellow competitors. Because of Grimek’s undisputed wins, competition organizers created the “One Victory Only” rule, in order to limit Grimek from taking over future competitions.
However in 1948, Grimek stole the world’s attention once again by winning the NABBA Mr. Universe in London at the age of 38, defeating Steve Reeves. It was that same year that Reeves publicly declared, “John Grimek is the greatest bodybuilder that ever lived.”