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Larry ‘The Legend’ Scott – First ever Olympia winner

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When talking about Larry Scott, the term ‘legend’ is the first word that comes to mind. It is because this first ever winner of the coveted Mr. Olympia title was truly a legend. Scott is even referred to as the ‘Golden Boy’ as he has had a golden run in the bodybuilding competitive arena with no losses so to speak. This legend is definitely an inspiration to many for his hard work and dedication where he transformed from a scrawny boy to a muscle wielding bodybuilder. He is also the first of all American bodybuilders to have made it big in the world of professional bodybuilding and win accolades for him.

Early years

Larry Scott was born in the year 1938 on 12th October in Pocatello, Idaho, the USA to machinist Wayne Scott and Thea Scott. He was a scrawny boy who got interested in bodybuilding at the age of 16. Larry studied at the subject of electronics at the California Air College.

However, when he started off, his narrow shoulders were ridiculed since they were not pumped up enough and looked smaller. He then trained vigorously and developed the biceps and triceps that would put anyone to shame and became an inspiration to many. He trained with Vince Gironda, a popular bodybuilder in those days, and Scott went on to become known for his unusually long biceps that he developed post training under Gironda using an exercise invented by Gironda termed as the ‘Preacher Curl’. However since Scott and his long and muscular biceps became so famous that the exercise was termed as ‘Scott Curl’ after Larry’s transformation with the exercise.

Professional bodybuilding and laurels achieved

Scott first participated in a bodybuilding competition at the age of 20 in the year 1959 and won the Mr. Idaho title. He then moved to California and quickly won the Mr. California title too in the year 1960 along with the Mr. Los Angeles title that he competed in. The following year in 1961 he went on to win the Mr. Pacific Coast title and the year after that in 1962 he won the Mr. America title and continued his winning streak by bagging the Mr. Universe title of the sport in the year 1964. In 1965, when Joe Weider created the Mr. Olympia title under the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB), Larry Scott won the first ever title. He won against Harold Poole and won a crown that was jewel encrusted. He went on to defend his title the next year too in 1966 and won the second Mr. Olympia along with a crown and a prize money of $1000 thus creating a record of the person winning gold every time he competed in the Mr. Olympia contest.


Mr. Olympia 1965 – 1966

In these years, from 1960 to 1966, Larry achieved great success in the sport of bodybuilding and he became a nationwide sensation. He was a favorite of the crowds and his popularity was cashed in by bodybuilding magazines too as they captured his all American looks with his clean-cut image. He became a sensation and his popularity was termed as ‘Larry Fever’.

Scott even dabbled in modeling and was famous as a physique model in the early and mid-1960s. He worked for famous photographers, such as Don Whitman, Bruce of California and Pat Milo. Milo helped Scott hone his posing skills and create a photographic persona, that of a “boy next door”, which became quite famous. He appeared in several of Joe Weider’s magazines on bodybuilding, such as the ‘Muscle Builder’ and ‘Mr. America’ along with featuring in ‘Muscleboy’, ‘Demi-Gods’, ‘The Young Physique’ ‘Muscles a Go Go’ and several others. He even exclusively wrote for publications of Joe Weider. He partnered with a freelance writer Rod Labbe on many articles in bodybuilding magazines

Larry retired in 1966 at the age of 28, sending shockwaves across the fraternity and fans alike. He felt that he had achieved everything there was in the competitive arena and wanted to concentrate on his family. In 1979, he briefly staged a comeback to retire from all competitions and bodybuilding in 1980. He started his own personal training company in Salt Lake City, Utah named ‘Larry Scott Fitness and Nutrition’ and manufactured and sold custom gym equipment as well as health supplements.

In 1999 Scott was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame.

Family life


Larry Scott – A Life in Bodybuilding

Scott was a devout Mormon. He was married to Rachel Scott (Ichikawa) and had five children – a daughter named Susan and sons Erin, Nathan, Derek, and Michael. Derek succumbed to a motorcycle accident in 1991 and in 1992 Michael died too.

Larry passed away at the age of 75 owing to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, in the year 2014 on 8th of March at the Salt Lake City Utah. The legend was finally laid to rest.

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