Paul Anderson is considered as one of the strongest human beings in history for his unbeaten strength. In 1985, the Guinness World Records reported that he back lifted approximately 2845 kg (6270 pounds) weight which was the heaviest weight lifted by a human being until then.
Most of the records about Paul Anderson’s feats are available unofficially. Some more data suggests that he could lift approximately 200 kg in a clean and jerk, 420 kg in the back squat and 285 kg in a bench press. The weightlifter, powerlifter, and strongman was on Olympic gold medalist, a world champion, and a two-time national champion.
Born on October 17, 1932, in Georgia, Paul was good at football since he was a child but wasn’t recognized as an extraordinary child who would be known as “strongest man alive”. The first time he was identified as a person who could do well in the world of weightlifting was in 1952 when he had a mention in the February issue of ‘Iron Man Magazine’. World renowned lifter and writer for the magazine, Bob Peeples, met Paul in his weight room when the latter was still a teenager. Peeples mentions that Paul went into his weight room and squatted approximately 250 kg weight in his regular shoes, without a warm-up. That meant that 19-year-old Paul had just squatted some 11 kg less than the then-world record.
Later, 20-year-old Paul competed in his first strength competition and squatted 274 kg, 288 kg and 294 kg breaking a 30-year-old squatting world record.
In 1954, Anderson suffered a series of injuries but he didn’t let them be a hindrance in his way of becoming a world champion. He bagged the gold medal in weightlifting in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics despite a high fever and an inner ear infection.
In 1957, he entered the Guinness Book of World Records. The entry with Anderson’s mention stated,
Greatest Lift. The greatest weight ever raised by a human being is 6,270 lbs. in a back lift (weight lifted off trestles) by 364- lb. Paul Anderson (U.S.) (b. 1932), the 1956 Olympic heavyweight champion, at Toccoa, Georgia, on June 12, 1957.
After attaining immense success nationally as well as internationally, he started making paid appearances for charity and supporting the Paul Anderson Youth Home, founded by him and his wife. The powerlifter died on August 15, 1994, of kidney complications at the age of 61.
The amateur, yet undefeated, weightlifter set 18 American records and 8 world records in the field of weightlifting. Isn’t that incredible?
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