Jan Todd

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Jan Todd
Dr. Todd
Todd with Zydrunas Savickas, winner of the world's strongest man contest
Born Janice Suffolk
Occupation powerlifter, historian, professor
Spouse(s) Terry Todd

Jan Todd, the Roy J. McLean Fellow in Sport History, is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Todd is a member of the Sport Management faculty, and teaches classes in sport history, sport philosophy, and sport and ethics. An active lecturer, Todd was named the Seward Staley Honor Lecturer[1] for the North American Society for Sport History in 2008.

Todd also serves as co-editor of Iron Game History: The Journal of Physical Culture, a scholarly journal for the history of physical culture. In addition, she has written numerous articles on topics such as sport and exercise history, anabolic steroids, and strength training as well as two books: Physical Culture and the Body Beautiful: Purposive Exercise in the Lives of American Women (Mercer University Press, 1998), and Lift Your Way to Youthful Fitness (Little-Brown, 1985).

With her husband, Terry Todd, Jan Todd founded the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports. The Stark Center, which opened in a new facility in the fall of 2009, contains museum exhibits as well as a research library and the largest archive in the world devoted to the study of physical fitness, resistance training, and alternative medicine.

Powerlifting career[edit]

Todd’s interest in the study of sport and physical culture was galvanized by her participation and success in the sport of powerlifting. During her powerlifting career, many publications—including Sports Illustrated magazine [2] – considered her to be the strongest woman in the world.[3] As a powerlifter, Todd set more than 60 national and world records, and was included in the Guinness Book of Records for over a decade.[4][5] On 2 February 1978 she appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, performing several lifts along with Johnny Carson. Todd was the first woman inducted into the International Powerlifting Hall of Fame.[6] She was inducted in the first class of the Women’s Powerlifting Hall of Fame,[7] and the 2009 class of the US National Fitness Hall of Fame.[8] She also received the 2008 Oscar Heidenstam Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award[9] for her contributions in the field of physical fitness.


  1. ^ [1] NASSH 2008 Proceedings
  2. ^ [2] "The Pleasure Of Being The World's Strongest Woman"
  3. ^ [3]"Body of Work"
  4. ^ [4]"Dr. Jan Todd, Former 'Strongest Woman in the World,' Inducted Into National Fitness Hall of Fame"
  5. ^ [5]"Strong Woman"
  6. ^ [6] IPF Hall of Fame
  7. ^ [7] US Powerlifting Women's Hall of Fame
  8. ^ [8] National Fitness Hall of Fame Showcase
  9. ^ [9]"World Record-Holding Powerlifters, Scholars Win Lifetime Achievement Award"

External links[edit]

  • H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports [10]