Bob Paris

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Bob Paris
Robert Clark Paris

(1959-12-14) December 14, 1959 (age 59)
Spouse(s)Brian LeFurgey (1996 – present)[1]

Bob Paris (born Robert Clark Paris on December 14, 1959) is a Canadian-American writer, actor, public speaker, civil rights activist, and former professional bodybuilder. Paris was the 1983 NPC American National and IFBB World Bodybuilding Champion.[1]


Early life[edit]

Paris was born and grew up in Brown County and Columbus, Indiana. From a very early age, he was both artistic and athletic. He won National Scholastic awards for his drawings and paintings and wrote short stories in his spare time.[2] Moreover, Paris was also involved in his school's debate team and a member of the International Thespian Society. Paris was involved in many sports in high school, he did track and field, golf, and was a talented football player for his school.[2] After experimenting with weight training as a Sophomore, Paris started to gain size and strength. From that discovery Paris knew he wanted to be a bodybuilder.[2]

He moved to southern California to pursue his life and dreams of becoming abodybuilder and actor. Within two years he had won two competitions, Mr. Los Angeles and Mr. Southern California.[2]


In 2006, Flex Magazine ranked Bob Paris the most aesthetic athlete in the history of bodybuilding.[3] Renowned for both his aesthetics and artistic approach toward the sport, he was also a dedicated advocate for the rights of athletes[4] and an outspoken voice in the push for drug testing at the professional level.[1] He retired from bodybuilding in 1991.[1]

In addition to his writing career, Bob Paris remains a civil rights advocate and public speaker. He is also a model and a classically trained theater actor. Since rising to fame in the early 1980s, Bob Paris has appeared on the covers of scores of magazines worldwide.[1]

On October 10, 1998, he made his New York stage debut, starring at Carnegie Hall opposite Bea Arthur, Sandy Duncan, Michael Jeter, Philip Bosco, Alice Ripley and Tyne Daly in the Broadway musical, Jubilee as the character Mowgli.[5]

In 2009, he performed in a recurring role on the first season of the ABC Television series, Defying Gravity.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In the July 1989 issue of Ironman, Paris came out in the media as a gay man. He was the world's first male professional athlete, in any sport, to come out in the media while still an active competitor in his sport.[1][7]

The same year, Paris appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" discussing marriage and being gay. Oprah asked Paris, "Bob, why not just stay in the closet?" Paris explained how "you fall in love" and that it doesn't feel right to hide it. Paris and his former boyfriend, Rod Jackson, became symbols for gay marriage and advocated gay rights. Paris's career ended up suffering because he came out as gay; he claims his life was even threatened through mail and by phone.[8] Paris lost about 80% of his bookings and endorsements for bodybuilding.[9]

After seven years of being together, Paris and Jackson split up. Paris admits that he kept trying to keep his relationship going even when he knew better; Paris felt that he would be giving gays a bad image if he and Jackson broke up.[8]

In 2012, Paris explained on his website that he never wanted to be a "lifestyle bodybuilder." Paris enjoyed the discipline and focus bodybuilding engendered; he also simply just excelled at the sport.[10] To Paris, Bodybuilding allowed him to be artistic and a jock all at once, and also bodybuilding allowed him to exert his physical presence to the world in a way that demonstrated that he was a man. Today Paris is still active in fitness but not as serious as he once was. Paris believes exercise is part of having a more fulfilling life.[10] Paris saw himself more as a writer over anything else. However, Paris believes bodybuilding saved his life and structured him to be the man he is today.[10]

Today, Paris lives with his spouse, Brian LeFurgey, on an island near Vancouver, British Columbia. Together since 1996, Bob and Brian were legally married in British Columbia after the province equalized the marriage laws in 2003.[1]

Books by Bob Paris[edit]

  • Beyond Built: Bob Paris' Guide to Achieving the Ultimate Look (1990)[11]
  • Flawless: The 10-Week Total Image Method for Transforming Your Physique(1993)[12]
  • Natural Fitness[13]
  • Straight From The Heart (as co-author)[14]
  • Gorilla Suit (1997)[15]
  • Generation Queer: A Gay Man's Quest For Hope, Love & Justice[16]
  • Prime: The Complete Guide to Being Fit, Looking Good, Feeling Great (2002)[17]

Photography books of Bob Paris[edit]

Bodybuilding career[1][edit]

As an amateur:

  • 1981 NPC Mr. Los Angeles, (Los Angeles, California), Light-heavyweight class and Overall: 1st
  • 1982 NPC Mr. Southern California (Pasadena, California), Light-heavyweight class and Overall: 1st
  • 1982 NPC California Muscle Classic (Pasadena, California), Light-heavyweight class and Overall: 1st
  • 1982 NPC Mr. California (San Jose, California), Light-heavyweight class: 2nd
  • 1982 NPC American National Championships [Mr. America] (New York City), Heavyweight class: 3rd
  • 1983 NPC National Championships [Mr. America] (San Jose, California), Heavyweight class and Overall: 1st
  • 1983 IFBB World Championships [Mr. Universe and professional qualifier] (Singapore), Heavyweight class and Overall: 1st

As a professional:

IFBB Mr. Olympia:

Additional professional competition highlights:

NPC = National Physique Committee IFBB = International Federation of BodyBuilders


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Legends of Bodybuilding 2, Winter, 2012, Robert Kennedy Publications
  2. ^ a b c d "Bob Paris". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  3. ^ "Perfect 20: Presents The Top 20 Most Aesthetic Physiques Of All Time". Retrieved 2013-12-04.
  4. ^ "Bob Paris "The Flawless Marvel": Height | Weight | Arms | Chest | Biography". Fitness Volt. 2017-08-29. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  5. ^ "Jubilee Carnegie Hall Concert (1998)",
  6. ^ "Gay Iconography: The Strength of Bob Paris". Towleroad Gay News. 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  7. ^ Ironman Magazine, July, 1989
  8. ^ a b "Mr. Universe Faced 'Tremendous' Repercussions After Coming Out In 1989". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  9. ^ "Former Mr. Universe Bob Paris on Oprah, coming out, marriage - Gay Lesbian Bi Trans News Archive - Windy City Times". Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  10. ^ a b c "Bob Paris". Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  11. ^ Paris, Bob. (1991). Beyond built : Bob Paris' guide to achieving the ultimate look. New York, NY: Warner Books. ISBN 0446391468. OCLC 20757296.
  12. ^ Paris, Bob. (1993). Flawless : the ten-week, total-image method for transforming your physique. New York, N.Y.: Warner Books. ISBN 0446394068. OCLC 26403318.
  13. ^ Paris, Bob. (1996). Natural fitness. New York, NY: Warner Books. ISBN 0446670294. OCLC 32665052.
  14. ^ Jackson-Paris, Rod, 1961- (1995). Straight from the heart : a love story. Jackson-Paris, Bob. New York: Warner Books. ISBN 0446670669. OCLC 32913836.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Paris, Bob. (1997). Gorilla suit : my adventures in bodybuilding (1st St. Martin's Griffin ed.). New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0312194587. OCLC 42306679.
  16. ^ Paris, Bob. (1998). Generation queer : a gay man's quest for hope, love, and justice. New York: Warner Books. ISBN 0446675350. OCLC 41591976.
  17. ^ Paris, Bob. (2002). Prime : the complete guide to being fit, looking good, feeling great (1st ed.). New York: Berkley Pub. Group. ISBN 0399527192. OCLC 47803575.