Paul Anderson papers
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Paul Anderson papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Anderson, Paul, 1932-
Title: Paul Anderson papers
Dates: 1955-1992
Extent: 0.25 cubic feet (2 folders)
Identification: MS 2143

Biographical/Historical Note

Paul Anderson was an amateur weight lifter and professional strongman who gained recognition in the 1950s and 1960s as the strongest man in the world. He was born on 17 October 1932 in Toccoa, Georgia to Ethel Bennet and Robert Anderson. Anderson attended Furman University for one year on a football scholarship before moving to Elizabethton, Tennessee where he met weight lifter Bob Peoples who influenced and inspired Anderson to start training to enter weight lifting competitions. Anderson entered local and national weight lifting competitions and was soon breaking records which then led to him becoming the world heavyweight champion at Munich in 1955 at only 5 feet 9 inches tall and 350 pounds. In 1956, Anderson attended the Olympics in Melbourne, Australia where he won a gold medal. After the Olympics, Anderson returned to Toccoa, Georgia a hero and soon entered show business as a professional strongman. In 1959, Anderson married Glenda Garland and they had one daughter, Paula Anderson Schaefer. They were devout Christians and established the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a home for troubled youth in Vidalia, Georgia in 1961, which was supported by Anderson's speaking engagements and strength exhibitions. Paul Anderson died on 15 August 1994 after a prolonged kidney illness.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains books, photographs, correspondence, and an audiocassette regarding the weight lifting career of Paul Anderson from 1955 to 1992. The audiocassette is entitled, The World's Strongest Man Becomes a Christian and the books were written by Anderson and include: A Greater Strength and The Home: Society's Pacemaker.

Index Terms

Anderson, Paul, 1932-
Clippings (information artifacts)
Letters (correspondence)
Paul Anderson Youth Home (Vidalia, Ga.)
Weight lifters--Georgia.

Administrative Information

Processing Information

This collection is processed at the Basic Level (or collection level). There is no detailed inventory for this collection as it is not fully processed. To request that this collection be added to our priority list of collections to be fully processed as staffing and funding allow, please contact the Library and Archives staff.


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Encoding funded by a 2008 Archives-Basic Projects grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.