An all-around kid with interests in everything from painting and drawing to sports and the outdoors, Indiana native Bob Paris knew he wanted to become a bodybuilder after he discovered weightlifting in high school. Bulking up and eventually spending a summer at the U.S. Marine Corps boot camp in South Carolina, Paris later moved to California to pursue his dreams of acting and bodybuilding. With very little money and left with no other choice but to live out of his car, Paris was named Mr. Los Angeles and Mr. Southern California before taking the title as Mr. America and Mr. Universe in 1983.
Named as the “most aesthetic athlete in the history of bodybuilding” by Flex Magazine, rumors ran wild that Paris used steroids despite his constant push for extended drug testing in the industry. Eventually calling it quits in 1991 to pursue his dreams of writing, the 56-year-old Paris looks completely different than his younger days and stays in shape by hiking with his spouse, Brian, around their Vancouver home. Now a published fitness author and photographer, Paris continues to be an advocate for the LGBT community in the United States and Canada.