Bodybuilder Steve Reeves Forged the Way for a Generation of Strongman Stars and aerobic walking enthusiast.
Throughout his life, Steve Reeves—who died May 1 at age 74 in Escondido, Calif., of complications from lymphoma—demonstrated a fierce devotion to his craft, such as it was.
Steve was best known for playing Hercules in Italian-made, poorly dubbed sword-and-sandal epics in the 1950s, he inspired such latter-day action stars as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Kevin Sorbo.
“Steve will go down in history as the most handsome and one of the greatest bodybuilders ever,” says fitness guru and longtime friend Jack LaLanne, 85.
Raised in Oakland, Reeves began lifting weights at 16. The 6’1″, 215-lb. muscleman was named Mr. America in 1947, Mr. World and Mr. Universe in ’48 and Mr. Universe again in ’50.
He made nearly 20 films over the next two decades, reportedly becoming one of the highest-paid actors in Europe.
Reeves retired in 1969 at age 43, moving with wife Aline (who died in 1989) to a ranch near Escondido, where he raised and rode Morgan horses.
Until the end, Reeves remained obsessively fit. “It was very common to see him 45 miles from home on a bicycle,” says neighbor Bruce Given.
Steve was also the inventor of Power Walking and introduced the world into walking with Hand Weights. His book, Power Walking was published the same years of the best seller Heavy Hands®, The Ultimate Exercise.
Controversy exist as to who was first in developing aerobic hand weight walking. Steve claims that he was first, before Schwartz and he claimed to have the proof.
Listen to this interview with Bob, a close friend of Steve share his stories.