Terry Todd

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Terry Todd
Born(1938-01-01)January 1, 1938[1]
DiedJuly 7, 2018(2018-07-07) (aged 80)
Austin, Texas, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Texas, Austin
Occupation(s)powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, historian
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
(m. 1973)
Competition record
Representing  United States
AAU US National Championships[1]
1st 1964 +90kg
1st 1965 +90kg
2nd 1966 +90kg
Olympic weightlifting
Representing  United States
Junior National Weightlifting Championships
1st 1963 +90kg

Terence (Terry) Todd January 1, 1938 – July 7, 2018) was an American powerlifter, and Olympic weightlifter.[2] Todd was co-founder of the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, co-editor of Iron Game History: The Journal of Physical Culture, and creator and event director of the Arnold Strongman Classic.[3]

Todd also held a career as a journalist on the staff of Sports Illustrated magazine, as well as doing commentary for CBS, NBC, ESPN and National Public Radio.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Todd was born in Beaumont, Texas, and moved to Austin, Texas while in elementary school. Todd was on the tennis team[4] at Travis High School and began weight training after graduating to make his left arm as strong as his dominant tennis arm.[4] He played on the varsity tennis team at the University of Texas at Austin in his freshman and sophomore years and then quit the team to pursue weightlifting. He majored in English as an undergraduate and completed his doctoral degree in the history and philosophy of education in 1966.[5]

Athletic history[edit]

Todd began as a weightlifter in 1956, and won the Junior Nationals in Olympic weightlifting in 1963.[2] He then turned to powerlifting, and won the first two national championships in 1964 and in 1965 (the first official Senior Nationals) as a superheavyweight.[2] At 1964 AAU Powerlifting Tournament Of America, Todd became the first man to Deadlift 700 lb (317.5 kg) in a documented and official setting with irrefutable evidence, hence initiating the inaugural official world record deadlift at 710 lb (322 kg).[6][7] At 1965 AAU Senior Nationals Todd raised the world record to 740 lb (336 kg).[7] At 1966 AAU Senior Nationals Todd became the first man to Squat 700 lb (317.5 kg) in wraps.[7] His best bench press was 477 lb (216 kg).[7] Todd retired from competition in 1967.[8]

Powerlifting Federation services[edit]

Todd was directly involved in the development of the sport of women's powerlifting.[2] He helped his wife Jan Todd organize the first national women's meet in 1977, and coached the women's Canadian team, with Jan, from 1976 to 1979.[2] In 1979, Todd was elected to the Executive Committee of the United States Powerlifting Federation.[2] Todd lobbied for, and ultimately achieved autonomy for the women's committee, but finally abandoned the USPF when he could not convince the organization to institute a steroid testing program for men and women lifters.[2] In the following few years, he also did color commentary for national and international powerlifting events for NBC, CBS, ESPN, and the BBC, some of which involved women's powerlifting.[2]

In 1977, Todd published the first major book about powerlifting, called Inside Powerlifting.[2] Todd covered the major national and international powerlifting events during the 1970s and 1980s for such magazines as Muscular Development and Iron Man.[2] He also helped to introduce powerlifting to a larger audience through his articles in Sports Illustrated, covering such lifters as Lamar Gant, Bill Kazmaier, Larry Pacifico, and Jan Todd.[2]

Later years[edit]

Once he stopped competing, he became a college professor in 1967 at Auburn University.[8] Todd taught at several universities in both the United States and Canada before finally returning to his alma mater, the University of Texas, in 1983.[8]

In 1990, Todd and his wife, Jan, founded the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, which is housed in the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium at The University of Texas in Austin. It contains more than 150,000 books, photos, films, magazines, letters, training courses, videotapes, posters, paintings and artifacts across its 27,500 square feet (2,550 m2).[3] The collection covers the history of competitive lifting, professional strongmen and strongwomen, sports nutrition, bodybuilding, naturopathy, conditioning for athletes, drug use in sports and alternative medicine.[3] Todd retired from the classroom in the 1990s and served as the Director of the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports until at least 2009.[8]

In 2001, Todd was asked by Arnold Schwarzenegger to create a Strongman contest for the annual Arnold Sports Festival, which is held in Columbus, Ohio.[8]

In 2018, four months before his death, he and Jan were inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Todd lived with his wife Jan on a 300-acre (1.2 km2) cattle ranch on the San Marcos River with a large collection of animals including 5 peacocks, a Percheron draft horse, 50 cattle, two Sicilian donkeys, an English Mastiff dog, an emu, and three Maine Coon cats.[2]

Todd died on July 7, 2018, in Austin, Texas, at the age of 80.[4][10] Former Governor of California Schwarzenegger released a statement on Twitter: "[Todd] was such a monster - a true force, but also a kind heart and a great storyteller".[11]

Personal records[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Todd Terry - powerlifting and bench press performances, records, bio, photo, video". En.allpowerlifting.com. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Hall of Fame: Terry Todd". Archived from the original on March 24, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d "Feature Story: Body of Work: Two record-setting powerlifters pump up world's largest physical culture collection". Utexas.edu. Archived from the original on 2013-06-20. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
  4. ^ a b c Terry Todd, weightlifting champion and UT center’s founder, dies at 80
  5. ^ "In Memoriam, Terry Todd, Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 2018". Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  6. ^ Anonymous (24 May 2022). "World Record Progression: The Deadlift". RunnerBoi for YouTube.com. Retrieved 22 April 2024.
  7. ^ a b c d Open Powerlifting (5 September 1964). "Terence Todd (M)". openpowerlifting.org. Retrieved 24 April 2024.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Terry Todd". Cscca.org. 1938-01-01. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
  9. ^ Dr. Robert Goldman (March 9, 2018). "2018 International Sports Hall of Fame Inductees". www.sportshof.org. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  10. ^ "Terence Todd Obituary - Austin, Texas - Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home South". Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home South. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  11. ^ "Arnold Schwarzenegger on Twitter". Twitter. July 8, 2018.