Steve Reeves Biography and Gallery
Steve Reeves. Stephen L. Reeves (January 21, 1926–May 1, 2000) was an American bodybuilder, actor, and author.
Childhood. Born in Glasgow, Montana, Steve Reeves moved to California at the age of 10 with his mother Goldie, after his father Lester Dell Reeves died in a farming accident. Reeves developed an interest in bodybuilding while in high school and trained at Ed Yarick’s gym in Oakland. By the time he was 17 he had developed a Herculean build, long before the rise in general interest in bodybuilding. After graduating from high school, he entered the Army during the latter part of World War II, and served in the Pacific.
* 1946 – Mr. Pacific Coast
* 1947 – Mr. Western America
* 1947 – Mr. America
* 1948 – Mr. World
* 1950 – Mr. Universe
By his own account, his best cold (unpumped) measurements at the peak of his bodybuilding activity were:
* Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
* Weight: 216
* Neck: 18 1/4″
* Chest: 52″
* Waist: 29″
* Biceps: 18 1/4″
* Thighs: 26″
* Calves: 18 1/4″
Reeves was known for his “V-taper” and for the great width of his shoulders, which Armand Tanny once measured at 23 1/2″ using outside calipers. Fortunate to possess a very symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing body structure, further perfected by training, Reeve’s physique has been admired ever since his prime.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding states:
By [the 1940s] the distinction between lifting weights purely for strength and training with weights to shape and proportion the body had been clearly made. … However, bodybuilding still remained an obscure sport. No champion was known to the general public—that is, until Steve Reeves came along. Reeves was the right man in the right place at the right time. He was handsome, personable, and had a magnificent physique. Survivors from the Muscle Beach era recall how crowds used to follow Reeves when he walked along the beach, and how people who knew nothing about him would simply stop and stare, awestruck.
Death. Later in his life, Reeves promoted drug-free bodybuilding and bred horses. The last two decades of his life were spent in Valley Center (Escondido), California. He bought a ranch with his savings and lived there with his second wife Aline until her death in 1989. On May 1, 2000, Reeves died from complications of lymphoma.
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