Names of York: Bob Hoffman

namesofyorklogo.jpgMore in the ongoing series on the Names of York.

Place: Bob Hoffman YMCA in Dover Township

Who was it named after? Bob Hoffman founded York Barbell in 1932 and became known in many circles as the “father of world weightlifting,” thanks to his books and courses on exercise and weight training, as well as his development of nutritional supplements and, of course, the famous barbells.

Interesting fact: Hoffman’s company, York Barbell, was voted by this blog’s readers as the best Y of York County. And you might remember Hoffman’s name coming up when we discussed the naming of Nixon Park; Hoffman had donated the land to the county!

Source:; York Town Square blog

Do you have a suggestion of a place in York County named for a person? If so, post a comment! I’m going to work my way through some likely ones, such as schools and parks, but I need other suggestions too!

About Joan

My name is Joan and I'm a lifelong Yorker. Throughout high school and college, I swore I was getting out of here as soon as possible. Now, a few years later, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. I love my town, and I hear every day from readers who love their towns, too. So please, connect with me and let's share what makes life in York County great. I'm here to help you enjoy this place as much as I do!
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2 Responses to Names of York: Bob Hoffman

  1. Bill Schmeer says:

    Hi Joan,
    At the risk of becoming a PITA, I wanted to comment on your Bob Hoffman blog. You didn’t intimate in the blog, but on the other hand, you didn’t identify the man on the cover of the magazine, “Muscletown USA,” pictured in the blog. The name, Bob Hoffman, appears alongside the man pictured and may lead some readers to think the man is Bob. I suppose you know, but does everyone that the man pictured is John Grimek. (From Wikipedia–John Carroll Grimek was born on June 17, 1910 (or June 18, 1911, as given by the Social Security Death Index) in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, son of Slovak immigrants George and Maria Grimek. Besides his bodybuilding exploits, he represented the United States in weightlifting at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. In 1948, at 38 years of age, Grimek defeated Steve Reeves in a hotly disputed (till this day) decision at the NABBA Mr. Universe contest in London. It seems that with a tie on the scorecards, good-friend and a judge of the contest, Bob Hoffman decided that the winner would be decided by a feat of gymnastics. Since Grimek was a very good gymnast, Reeves took second place gracefully. The following year he won his last contest, the AAU Mr. USA, against a field that included a sun-burned Reeves, Clarence Ross, George Eiferman, and Armand Tanny. He retired from bodybuilding undefeated.
    John has been featured in many bodybuilding articles and magazines, as well as being featured on the cover of Muscular Development magazine. Despite his retirement, Grimek continued serious training for many years, and was still able to squat with over 400 pounds for reps in his late 60s. Grimek died on November 20, 1998 in York, Pennsylvania. He was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 1999.
    Bill Schmeer, Thomasville

  2. Jeff Hathcock says:

    The note from Bill Schmeer where he asserts that Bob Hoffman was a judge at the 1948 Mr. Universe Contest in London is erroneous. Bob Hoffman was asked to be a judge, but declined. George Walsh, who was involved in the 1948 Contest writes about that very thing. He says Hoffman declined because he thought if he voted for Grimek it wouldn’t be fair. Again, Hoffman was not a judge, Mr. Schmeer and it’s time we put that ugly rumor to rest. Walsh also states, “It’s only fair to say that John Grimek won the title by a decisive margin.” Each of the three finalists were given from 3-4 minutes to do a final routine and Grimek went into his unparalled routine which included some gymnastic moves. This was nothing new for Grimek as he had always included that in his posing routine. One last thing: Some people seem to forget that Grimek not only defeated Reeves in the ’48 Universe Contest, but again, in the ’49 Mr. USA, where Grimek won and Reeves placed third.

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