Charles Atlas, was the developer of a bodybuilding method and its associated exercise program that was best known for a landmark advertising campaign featuring Atlas’s name and likeness; it has been described as one of the longest-lasting and most memorable ad campaigns of all time. According to Atlas, he trained himself to develop his body from that of a “scrawny weakling”, eventually becoming the most popular muscleman of his day. He took the name “Charles Atlas” after a friend told him he resembled the statue of Atlas on top of a hotel in Coney Island and legally changed his name in 1922. His company, Charles Atlas Ltd., was founded in 1929 and continues to market a fitness program for the “97-pound weakling”.
Long before Arnold Schwarzenegger there was Angelo Sciliano. And, make no mistake about it, his toned muscular physique rivaled any before or since. Indeed, it could be said that he invited body building, or at least brought it into the mainstream and made it part of the popular culture