IronMan, Vol 11, No 3, Page 12, September 1951

The 1951 Mr America Contest

(Excerpts from "Senior National Championships and Mr America Contest")

NO one puts on a better lifting meet or physique show than the various promoters in California and particularly the Los Angeles area. It was with keen anticipation therefore, that your Editor and his wife set out from Alliance at 8 o'clock the evening of June 13th and drove steadily for 30 hours to arrive in Los Angeles the night of the 14th, late. We had planned to arrive a day earlier but duties here at the Iron Man office were too heavy to leave at that time. Consequently we arrived just a little late for the first of several dinners for officials and competitors.

After visiting a few gyms and attending to a few matters of business it was time for the lifting and physique contest the evening of the 15th. This was held in the open air Greek Theatre of Griffith Park, a beautiful setting for such an event. At 7:30 P. M. when the show was scheduled to start, it was cool in the park, in fact it became a little chilly later on as the Theatre is located quite high on a hill in the park.

The lighting for the physique contest was, we believe the best we have seen and certainly did much for the fine physiques competing in the "Mr. America" contest. The stage was of ample proportions and a fine $300 lifting platform was specially constructed for the meet and it was a beauty. The meet was sponsored by the Southern California Weight Lifters Association Inc., headed by David Matlin and assisted by a fine committee of the leading professionals and amateurs of the West Coast. We were certainly not disappointed in this meet and feel that it was the best that America has ever had. The only one we can remember that comes close to it was the 1939 meet in Chicago.

A very good attendance was recorded for a first night and they certainly were well repaid with some wonderful lifting and physique display.

[description of weightlifting contest skipped]


Twenty-five of the finest physiques in America had entered this contest and I must say that I've never seen a finer group lined up on the stage. This part of the meet was well organized and ran off smoothly and efficiently. As we have said before the lighting over the posing platform was superb. When a man posed too long, he was called by the announcer. Thus each contestant was given a fair and equal opportunity. Of course there are rules of a front, back, and optional pose and a total of 30 seconds posing time, but this rule is seldom enforced. Marvin Eder from Jersey City was there to display his herculean physique. It is almost unbelievable that anyone can pack so much muscle. This man is terrific. George Paine, the new "Jr. Mr. America" was on hand to display his wonderful development. It is seldom that a man can have such unusual development and such unbelievable definition at the same time. He is a human anatomical chart if there ever was one and a swell fellow too. Keith Stephan from Leo Stern's gym was on hand to display his magnificent physique. This boy will be the most massively developed of any perfect man we have ever had when he reaches his maximum perfection. We predict great things for this boy. He has the largest bone structure of any physique contestant we have ever seen. He already has measurements that equal the largest but still looks as if he could stand a lot more bulk. Then when he works for definition after bulking up a bit more, he will be unbeatable. He is a bit nervous on the platform yet, and needs more posing practice.

Monty Wolford looked better than ever and that triceps of his is certainly one of the largest we have ever seen. Alvin Lee looked wonderful with terrific definition. His only fault if it can be called that, is that most people feel his waist is too thin and slender. It looks as if it didn't measure a bit over 25 inches. Stan Stanczyk was on the platform with his usual clowning. Malcolm Brenner is much improved and certainly looked terrific. His calves are the only body parts that might stand more work. Vic Nicoletti looks terrific as usual. He has been in this physique game a long time now, and still winning contests. Roy Hilligenn made most amazing improvement. A few years ago we would not have given much for his chances of winning a "Mr. America" contest but his physique was so greatly improved that it was hard to believe it was done in 2 months. Ken Cameron looks wonderful and when he gets those arms up a bit he will be hard to beat in any contest. Elias Rodriquez looked better than ever. This boy is tops for definition but does not have quite enough bulk to win "Mr. America." He is certainly a swell fellow.

Following is a list of entries from the program: Ralph Mascaro, Lewis Newman, Elias Rodriquez, Kenneth Cameron, Max Grunig, Victor Nicoletti, Elwood Holbrook, Malcolm Brenner, Edmund Holochik, Stan Stanczyk, Alvin Lee, Joe Sanceri, Allen Morales, Monty Wolford, John Witkowski, Ed Heckinger, Carlin Venus, Keith Stephen, George Paine, Marvin Eder, D. Juliano, Roy Hilligenn, Pepper Gomez, George Waselinko.

Best arms were won by Malcolm Brenner. His arms are huge, nearly 19 inches and possess unusual definition and shape. Malcolm also won Best Chest. Most Muscular went to Roy Hilligenn as well as best legs. Best back award was won by George Paine with his unusual definition. Best Abdominals was won by Ken Cameron. This was a hard decision to make for many of those boys had superb abdominals but Ken has an all round development as well as massive size and definition that is hard to beat. Everyone of the decisions on the above were difficult for the judges to make because all these boys were terrific. Beautiful trophies were presented to each winner.

Everyone left the hall that evening well satisfied with having witnessed a great show.

[next day, more weightlifting]


The audience was much larger than for the first night. This is the usual thing for most people want to see the Mr. America contest so the place was packed. They were not disappointed because in addition to the greatest lifting they had ever seen they also enjoyed one of the finest Mr. America contests in history. All the line physiques that had appeared in the Subdivisions the night before were here again fighting it out for the most coveted physique title in the world.

Every one of them looked magnificent under the fine lighting. Walt Marcyan, who worked on the lighting had used some color in the lights which gave the boys the most beautiful golden color imaginable, a glowing golden color. Of course all of them were well tanned.

As each man came on the platform and took his turn posing it became apparent that the judges had a stupendous task on their hands. In the first session all were eliminated but the best ten. These were again called to the platform both as a group and individually to pose again. Now it began to be evident that first place would go to either Malcolm Brenner or Roy Hilligenn although the other boys were pushing them very close. Finally the judges were through with their work and while the audience waited tensely the points were tabulated. The winner was Roy Hilligenn with 68 1/2 points with Malcolm Brenner a close second with 67 points. Marvin Eder and George Paine tied for third and each of them will receive a fine trophy and medal. They both had 65 points. Fourth place was won by Pepper Gomez who has improved a great deal in the past year and now takes his place with the best in the country. His total was 61 points. Keith Stephen won 5th place with 59. Joe Sanceri and John Witkowski were sixth with a tie of 57 points while Ken Cameron was 8th with 54 1/2 points. With so many good and deserving men it is regretable that more than one can't be named ""Mr. America"" but there is always another year.

Those who saw this night's show will long remember it as one of the greatest of their lives. After the show they gathered in little groups to discuss the nights events and the custodians had great difficulty clearing the theatre to close it up, after which the people stood on the side walk in front for hours, finally drifting away in groups together to some all night cafe where they could still further enjoy each other's fellowship and discuss the game so dear to the hearts of each of them.


- Above we show some flash photos of one of the coming '"Mr. Amerca" winners if he will continue his progress, KEITH STEPHAN of Leo Stern's gym in San Diego has one of the most promising physiqnes of the day. He has unusual bone size and although he now has an 18" arm, we are confident that be can attain a 20" arm without too much trouble because of his heavy bone structure. As soon as he reaches his maximum size then trains for definition and develops a steadier posing routine he will be very difficult for the best in the world to beat. Keith would also make a great weight. lifter. AMG photos

- Malcom Brenner below. Photo by AMG

- JOHN PAINE was the sensation of the show with his great development and unequaled definition. It is hard to see how this man could improve any. Like most all of his race his calves are his weak spot. Although they are well developed, the bulk is high on the leg. On the right MARVIN EDER is in one of his most effective poses. He has unusual biceps control. Photo by Hasse

- ALVIN LEE certainly has a most unusual physique. He has very broad shoulders and such a small, thin waist that there must be a 20 inch difference which is a lot for a man of his height. His definition is unusual and he has plenty of bulk although not as much as some of the bigger boys. He has already won many top physique titles and will go far in the future. Athletic Model Guild photo

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