IronMan, Vol 12, No 2, Page 12, August 1952

Mr. America for 1952!

by Jerry Ross

IT IS INDEED a privilege to write a report of the 1952 Mr. America contest for the readers of Iron Man who were not privileged to attend this big affair of the year.

I believe that the contestants at this show staged by John Terlazzo were the finest of any Mr. America contests I've ever attended. We heard it remarked that if one were to cover the faces of the contestants it would be difficult to identify them as they were all developed to the maximum and so many of them seemed to look alike in physique. They all had beautiful golden tans and most of them were experts at displaying their physiques to the best advantage.

Al Urban had done a great job of arranging the lighting while Jack Libertore was an excellent Master of Ceremonies with his vast store of information about the various contestants. It was a contest well worth the expense and effort of traveling across the country, if necessary, to see it.

All the men entered seemed greatly improved and the top men were no exception. From the first it became evident that both Malcolm Brenner from sunny California along with James Parks from Johnson's gym in Chicago were men to be reckoned with. Brenner had made very great improvement since we had last seen him-in fact he hardly looked like the same man, while Parks had made unbelievable progress on the program of diet and exercise he had been following for the past 6 weeks (his training period for this contest) at the Johnson gym. A year ago Parks had been failing to win even local contests but here he was looking like (from my point of view) one of the finest built men of our time. His definition, shape and size had greatly improved from the last time I saw him. Brenner too, looked much larger. His proportions were much better and he had terrific definition.

George Paine was much improved with more bulk and shape and about the most definition you could expect to find. We used to think Melvin Wells the most terrific colored man we had seen but Paine has features to place him at the top. He is simply unbelievable. Wells was on hand also and still looked terrific but somehow he didn't look in quite as good a shape as we had seen him at other times.

We were sitting at the side the first night so we could be mistaken about his condition. The second night we were out front and obtained a true picture of the physiques of the contestants. Never sit on the side if you want to see a physique show that is any good at all. From the side the poses usually look very poor. Contestants pose to the front and the lights are set up for front posing.

We are getting ahead of our story, however. The first night the Sub Divisions were run off and gave the people a chance to see what was in store for them the second night when the Mr. America was contested. As the men came on the platform for best arms, some of the arms there were simply huge and with terrific shape and definition. There was Melvin Wells who has won best arms in the past. His arms look as large as ever with a very unusual shape and great definition. Malcolm Brenner with his great arms of around 19 inches. They and well shaped and with good definition. Arthur Zeller with very good arms. George Paine whose arms are bigger than ever. And last, James Parks, whose arms are so big it's hard to see how he could pack on any more muscle. When the judges were through, the selection for best arms went to James Parks.

The best abdominals found many men with excellent abdominals. On the other hand some contestants were rather poor in this department, indicating a neglect of these muscles. Parks, Paine, Brenner and several others had very good abdominals but Irvin Koszewski with one of the finest abdominal formations we have ever seen, again took the title. Many fellows do not pose their abdomen properly and seemingly cannot forget their big arms and constantly show off their arms when they should be posing their abdominals.

The best chest title again went to James Parks. There were a lot of good chests there, including Malcolm Brenner, and it must have been a close one to judge. Parks also won the Most Muscular, which gave him three cups the first night.

Malcolm Brenner won the Best Back title with his terrific spread, good definition and masterly posing. He gave the most dramatic back posing display of anyone.

In the Best Legs, we thought the judges again had a problem on their hands, but they finally chose the legs of George Paine as the best because of his massive thigh development and definition altho like most of his race, his calves are not good.

This concluded the events of the first night at about 2 A.M. in the morning. There had been a lot of lifting competitors and also quite a large entry of Physique contestants with 36 men to run through the events. This made it quite late even tho there was no lag or drag in the program.

The following night, Saturday, June 28th there was nothing on the program but the "Mr. America" contest and some special acts. Even so, it took some time to run off all the contestants. Each man gave a fine demonstration of posing and development.

Mickey Hargitay of Indianapolis had No.1 so was first on the platform. He showed great improvement over a year ago when he appeared in the "Mr. Mid-America" in Kansas City. He has a great future. Seymour Koenig is very massive and muscular. Walter Cuzzimano has a good back with a beautiful tan and very Good pecs and thighs. Ken Pendleton, the old timer, whose photos were featured 15 years ago in Iron Man, was a competitor and looked terrific. Most people are not acquainted with the fact that Ken was once a cripple and could not walk. Roger Servin was a good example of the fine display the slender man can make when fully developed. He is 5'10" and weighs but 158 lbs., but with his wide shoulders he compared very favorably with others on the platform. He has a very fine back development.

George Jones has a fine all round physique and has good posing ability. Phillip Zimmerman has unusual definition and very good development. Bill Cerdas, a master poser, not quite as heavily developed as some of the others, but still right at the top of fine physiques. Irvin Koszewski had a beautiful tan, excellent posing ability and a good all round development to go with his abdominals. He is built on more slender lines than most of the others, with light bones and narrow framework. He is proof that a man doesn't have to have broad shoulders to develop a physique that rates with the best.

We have already discussed Melvin Wells physique. Al Berman has a most unusual chest development and general fine physique but lacks some in definition of the others. Louis Degni is also massive but rather smooth. Leonard Peters is very well developed and has good definition. If unacquainted with" them, you're apt to confuse him with LeRoy Colbert, who also possesses a superb physique which we believe is a little better proportioned than Peters with full round development but lacking some of the definition of Peters.

Harry Johnson still looks good, but needs more definition. Ray Jiminez is very good with terrific definition of his pectorals. In fact he has excellent definition all over. Zeller has very good arms and pectorals. Juliano has pectorals which will rival those of Geo. Eifferman for size. He is very massively developed but lacks the fine definition of some of the others. Sweeney presented a fine over all appearance. Brunhart of Johnson Studios had good size, nice shape and very good definition. Brenner, as we have said, looked terrific. He seemed much more muscular than ever before with a very nice tan. Harry Smith still has a fine physique but has lost much of his former fine definition and didn't look as if he had been training too hard. Raul Pacheco is very well developed with good proportions and definition, presenting a very good over all appearance. Sam Griffiths has lost too much of his definition but looks good yet. We have already commented on the terrific physique of Paine. Parks looked terrific and we couldn't see a single weak link in his physique. Keith Lewin, the recent "Mr. Colorado" is finely developed but needs still more bulk.

Now we come to Dan Van Fleteran the present Mr. Michigan, who some spectators thought should have won the Mr. America title. This man is big and very, very good. He has terrific arms and back with a good chest and legs. We predict that this man has an excellent chance of winning the. Mr. America title if he continues to train regularly. He is about 6'1" and weighs 215. I could not keep my eyes off his superb physique as we walked around back of the stage.

What a terrific group of physiques. I did not envy. the judges their task because the top men were so close. The opinion of most people was that Jim Parks and Malcolm Brenner were top men. It took the judges some time to gather and count their votes. When they were through and the winners were announced it was found that Parks won the coveted title with Brenner winning second, Paine third, Van Fleteran fourth and Koszewski fifth place.

It was at this point that an event occurred that marred the entire show for us. A certain uncouth element in the audience immediately set up a bedlam of booing and catcalling and insulting remarks because they did not agree with the judges' decision in awarding the title to Parks over Brenner. They mobbed the stage and created the most disgusting scene I've ever witnessed at a sporting event. They certainly showed very poor sportsmanship and should be very much ashamed of themselves. They lower the level of the sport immeasurably in the eyes of respectable people by such actions. If such things were to continue, I personally would not care to attend any more such shows.

I feel the judges did a fair job. It must have been very close between the two top men and I personally thought the judges might award it to Brenner because of his height but the flawless physique of James Parks emerged the victor and I'm willing to abide by the judges' decision as I know they are strictly honest and as capable as any group of judges in the country.

I am happy to say that I feel I saw as fine a group of physiques as were ever assembled in one group in the world.


- Malcolm Brenner upper left took second place and best back and looked better than ever before. George Paine much improved, won best legs and 3rd place. Dan Van Fleteran, a new man to Mr. America contests has a magnificent physique which won 4th place for him.

- In the upper right photo we see a flash shot of the new Mr. America, James Parks of Chicago, who had improved greatly since last year. He also won best arms, best chest and most muscular awards. In the lower right photo is the best abdominal winner, Irvin Koszewski, who seems to win this title in any contest he enters. Lower left is Malcolm Brenner again. Photos on these two pages by Young.

- Three more flash photos showing the amazing physique of James Parks.-Young Photos

- Ray Jiminez has a marvelous physique and the most unusual definition of his large pectoral muscles. Van Cirsky, below, was a late entrant but possessed a very fine physique. He is from Detroit.- Young Photos.

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