Larry Scott Biography
Larry Dee Scott (October 12, 1938 – March 8, 2014), was an American professional bodybuilder and the winner of the first IFBB Mr. Olympia contest, which debuted in 1965. Scott went on to defend his title in 1966 before retiring until 1979 when he entered the IFBB Canada Diamond Pro Cup and the IFBB Grand Prix Vancouver.
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Legend has it that, prior to 1965, Larry Scott and Joe Weider were eating at a restaurant when Larry Scott confided that, since he had won the Mr. America and Mr. Universe titles, in his mind, there were no competitive mountains left to climb. Some say that Scott’s lament influenced Joe Weider to create a contest that went beyond the Mr. Universe competition. Weider wanted a contest where Mr. Universe winners could keep competing to determine who was the best of the best, to determine who was the “Mr. Olympia”. The inaugural Mr. Olympia, which took place on September 18, 1965 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, was not a competition with the same gravitas as it has held from the early 1970s onward. In 1965, the NABBA Mr. Universe was the highest prestige bodybuilding contest in the world.
When the Mr. Olympia caught on in a few years, people forgot, and are largely unaware to this day, that the 1965 Mr. Olympia was not the bodybuilding competition with the best bodybuilders in the world. The first Mr. Olympia had three competitors, Larry Scott, Harold Poole, and Earl Maynard. The NABBA amateur Mr. Universe had 32 competitors including future Mr. Olympias Frank Zane, Chris Dickerson, and Franco Columbu as well as future Mr. Olympia competitors including Albert Beckles, Roy Duvall, and Frank Richards. Even in 1971, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the only Mr. Olympia competitor. Today, the Mr. Olympia is so ingrained as the top bodybuilding contest that people forget about it’s more humble beginnings. To most, the 1965 Mr. Olympia holds as much status as the current Mr. Olympia competition and many younger bodybuilders have never even heard of the NABBA. He who wins writes history or he whose magazines have the largest circulation writes bodybuilding history.
Scott was born in Pocatello, Idaho, began training at age 16 and won the Mr. Idaho competition in 1959 at age 20. He then moved to California, won Mr. California (1960), Mr. Pacific Coast (1961), Mr. America (1962), Mr. Universe (1964), and two back-to-back Mr. Olympias in 1965 and 1966.
Larry Scott’s contest history is here.
It has been regurgitated in article after article that Larry Scott studied electronics at the California Air College and was known to be a devout Mormon. But regarding studying electronics or, as some articles say, being enrolled, at California Air College, where is or was California Air College located? Was California Air College related to Western Air College Airport in Rosemead, California, which is no longer in existence? Is it related to National Air College in San Diego? Did he get a degree? Did he every work in the electronics field? Was this like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree via correspondence from the University of Wisconsin–Superior in international marketing of fitness and business administration in 1979… in between various auditions, acting jobs, co-starring in The Villian, filmed in 1978, conducting bodybuilding seminars, promoting bodybuilding contests, running a mail order business, writing a column in Muscle Builder and Power…
University of Wisconsin–Superior is an actual brick and mortar school in Wisconsin with notable alumni who lived in Wisconsin and physically attended classes but it is unknown whether Schwarzenegger’s correspondence courses taken from California entailed five 3-credit courses taken in the first semester of the freshman year, followed by five 3-credit courses taken in the second semester of the freshman year, followed five 3-credit courses taken in the first semester of the sophomore year, followed by five 3-credit courses taken in the second semester of the sophomore year, followed five 3-credit courses taken in the first semester of the junior year, followed by five 3-credit courses taken in the second semester of the junior year, followed five 3-credit courses taken in the first semester of the senior year, followed by five 3-credit courses taken in the second semester of the senior year. Actually, today, with the internet and access to the best instructors in the world, correspondence courses may be the way to go and Arnold’ degree will be like the first Mr. Olympia contest versus he NABBA Mr. Universe as described in the second paragraph.
Scott trained at Vince’s Gym, owned by trainer to the stars Vince Gironda. Gironda invented an exercise called the “Preacher Curl” which is sometimes called the Scott Curl, due to its association with Scott’s employment of the exercise to build his notable biceps.
In his latter years, Scott lived in Salt Lake City, which was founded by Brigham Young and numerous other Mormon followers. He ran Larry Scott Fitness & Nutrition and sold his own custom-made gym equipment and health supplements. Scott is a 1999 IFBB Hall of Fame inductee.
On March 8, 2014, Larry Scott died at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah at 75 years of age, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
Larry Scott Bodybuilding Competition History
Mr California – AAU, Winner
Mr California – AAU, Most Muscular, 1st
Mr Los Angeles – AAU, Most Muscular, 3rd
Mr Los Angeles – AAU, 3rd
Mr Pacific Coast – AAU, Most Muscular, 1st
Mr Pacific Coast – AAU, Winner
Mr America – IFBB, Medium, 1st
Mr America – IFBB, Overall Winner
Universe – IFBB, Medium, 1st
Universe – IFBB, Medium, 1st
Universe – IFBB, Overall Winner
Olympia – IFBB, Winner
Olympia – IFBB, Winner
Canada Diamond Pro Cup – IFBB, 9th
Grand Prix Vancouver – IFBB, Did not place