Paul Anderson was an amateur weight lifter and professional strongman who gained recognition in the 1950s and 1960s as the strongest man in the world. He was born on 17 October 1932 in Toccoa, Georgia to Ethel Bennet and Robert Anderson. Anderson attended Furman University for one year on a football scholarship before moving to Elizabethton, Tennessee where he met weight lifter Bob Peoples who influenced and inspired Anderson to start training to enter weight lifting competitions. Anderson entered local and national weight lifting competitions and was soon breaking records which then led to him becoming the world heavyweight champion at Munich in 1955 at only 5 feet 9 inches tall and 350 pounds. In 1956, Anderson attended the Olympics in Melbourne, Australia where he won a gold medal. After the Olympics, Anderson returned to Toccoa, Georgia a hero and soon entered show business as a professional strongman. In 1959, Anderson married Glenda Garland and they had one daughter, Paula Anderson Schaefer. They were devout Christians and established the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a home for troubled youth in Vidalia, Georgia in 1961, which was supported by Anderson's speaking engagements and strength exhibitions. Paul Anderson died on 15 August 1994 after a prolonged kidney illness.
From the description of Paul Anderson papers, 1955-1992. (Georgia Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 503561780