Strength & Health, Page 29, May 1943

Dan Lurie's Life Story

By Hyman Schaffer

Editor's note: HYMAN SCHAFER, now in the Army, the author of this article on LURIE, was organizer, president and lifting coach of the famous Adonis A. C. of Brooklyn. SCHAFFER last year won the bent press championship, featherweight class, the Jr. Nationals and tied for 1st in the Seniors. Here this leading lifter tells us about his friend, DAN LURIE.

Strength athletes will come and go but ever so often there is one so exceptional among them, a man whose accomplishments are so noteworthy that he stands out from among the other famous athletes in such a way that he attains undying fame. Through conscientious, painstaking, and sincere efforts to build strength and a perfect body he crates a splendid physique to encourage and to inspire others. We believe that right in our own club we have such a man, a man who as the years pass will add to his fame and in time take rank with the greats of history. Even the great Sandow, Maxick, Breibart, Strongfort and the present greats such as Grimek, Klein, Leight and Bacon.

I am writing of my good friend and pupil, Dan Lurie. Although he is but 19 years of age he has accomplished much, won many honors in the strength and athletic world. Dan was born on April 1st, 1923. He started life with a handicap, a weak heart. His father, Abe Lurie, who is in the warehousing business, was one of the strongest men in Canarsie, Brooklyn, and a friend and training partner of such notables as Brieitbart and Warren Lincoln Travis. He occasionally complained of backaches owing to the fact that he never trained regularly, and as he was the boss in his trucking and warehousing business, he did not need to perform laborious work regularly. But at times he performed Herculean work such as carrying a full size piano on his back unassisted (such a piano usually weighs at least 800 pounds). At the age of 55 he still wagers that he can perform this great feat to this day.

Dan is one of five children, three boys and two girls. His brother Terry is now serving somewhere in North Africa. With a family of this size Dan's mother had her hands full, so Dan was able to sneak away alone to the public parks, watch the larger boys, and since he was forbidden to exercise he would wait until they were gone and then try to duplicate the feats they had performed.

In 1936, at the age of 13, he entered Tilden High School in Brooklyn, New York, where his career as an athlete began. Since he could not exercise due to his heart ailment, he competed in quiet games and at the age of 14 he won the New York City checker championship for the Park Department.

Somehow, Danny felt that since he was forbidden to exercise, he would endevor to do so in spite of repeated warnings. After school hours he would walk into the school gymnasium and secretly work on the gymnasium apparatus combining this with a new fad, that of floor dipping.

As he approached his 15th birthday, he was given the annual physical examination by his school doctor who pronounced him completely free of his previous ailment. This of course gave Dan the opportunity to take full advantage of his physical training and needless to say, his future accomplishments from that time on were always improving.

Thousands of young boys with heart ailments are given to believe that any type of physical activity is dangerous. While this may be true of the minority of severe cardiac conditions most of them upon entering into games in a moderate form can eventually cure themselves of the ailment, as the heart is a muscle and can be stimulated to respond favorably to progressive physical activity. Dan Lurie proved that, and I may add that the writer also suffered from the above as a young boy. This trouble can most easily be remedied in adolescence but if neglected it is very difficult to check in the adult stage.

Among his athletic accomplishments, Dan won the high school gymnastic championships year after year until he graduated. At the same intervals he boxed in the P.A.L. and won repeatedly until it began to disfigure his face which compelled him to quit. In his sixth term of his high school career, he became acquainted with barbells. Being a gymnast, he took to them very easily and before long gained some ten pounds in muscle and increased strength.

Following this, he became so versatile that he entered practically all the sports in his school, namely: track, swimming, shot put, captain of gym squad, handball, and basketball, and performed notably in all. He was awarded the George F. Wingate Memorial Medal for the most outstanding athlete, and received on hundred per cent in health education each term in every physical activity. (This is the highest mark ever to be given to any high school student in the country.) A scholarship was offered him at the Boston University to study physical education, but he decided to remain home and help his father in the warehousing business.

In his last year of school he met me and from then on has trained under my supervision. After one year and a half of systematic training he jumped from 125 to 150 lbs. at the age of 17, and at that time succeeded in bent-pressing 190 lbs. The Adonis A. C. is well known for its bent-pressing. It is my pet lift and I therefore try to pass it on to all the members of our club. In Sig Klein's last bent-press show, we had six men competing, three took first places and three took seconds.

Dan is really a body-builder though his lifts are by no means small: 210 lb right hand bent-press, 200 press, 190 snatch, 260 c. and j., 275 jerk, 138 pullover, 145 underhand curl, 120 reverse curl, prone press 260, leg press on machine 560 - all at 162 lbs body weight. Dan is unequalled in feats of endurance. 360 consecutive pullovers with 42 1/2 lbs., 1255 parallel dips in 1 1/2 hours, 1665 floor dips in 1 1/2 hours, 25 extended push ups (arms stretched overhead - entire body raised between fingers tips and toes). Dan claims that barbell training makes him more and more flexible in whatever hi does such as back bends, hand-stand walk-overs, splits, half-moon hand stand, elbows to floor, legs straight, etc.

Being very modest, I persuaded Dan to enter a physique contest, since I noticed his development constantly improving. In his first appearance he placed third in Mr. New York City, class A. He trained hard and at the age of 18 entered Jr. Mr. America Contest at Bristol, Conn., and placed second to the well-known Kimon Voyages by 1/2 of a point owing to his legs which were slightly behind. In the special awards he took first lace for best developed chest and a runner-up in all the rest of the special awards. After a few months of training mostly on leg work he entered Mr. America 1942 contest in Cincinnati, Ohio, placing third owing to the lack of height. This, however, did not prevent him from winning almost all the special awards, three in all: Best Arms, Best Legs and Most Muscular Man in America. He was also runner-up in abdominal, back, and chest.

I have always said that he who trains gets results and Dan Lurie is a setting example. Although he uses a regular body-building course, he favors more repetitions with light weights and of course floor dips and parallel dips are his favorites. One look at his pectorals would convince anyone of the benefits of the same. here are a few of Dan's measurements: arm 16 3/4, chest normal 46, expanded 47 1/4, waist 29 1/2, thighs 21 1/2, calf 15 1/4, ankle 9 1/4, neck 16, forearm 12 1/2, height 5-5 1/2, weight 165, age 19, wrist 7 1/2.

A great future lies in store for the splendid athlete I have mentioned, in the physique world. he has already achieved high distinction as a model for artists and photographers. With good fortune ahead, I predict that Dan Lurie will be looked back upon some day as having one of the most outstanding physiques in the world.

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