TERENCE TODD

Obituary
45 entries
  • "I am sorry to learn of Terry Todd's passing. My uncle Ralph..."
    - Teresa Countryman Countryman
  • "Jan, I am so sad to hear about Terry. He (and you) have..."
    - Ann Brewer
  • "Terry always was willing to share his knowledge & help..."
    - Sue Humphrey
  • "Terry and I became closer friends when Travis High School..."
    - jack vaughan
  • "Jan, We have just learned of Terry's passing and your great..."
    - Bill and Judy Pearl
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TODD--Terence, Ph.D.

Terence "Terry" Todd. Writer, academic, journalist, champion lifter, coach, sport promoter, founder of the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports at the University of Texas at Austin, and Director of the Arnold Strongman Classic, died in Austin, TX, on Saturday, July 7, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Jan Todd; his sister, Connie Todd; his nephew, Timothy Todd Ray and wife, Sheri Graner-Ray; and "adopted" son, Mark Henry, wife, Jana Henry, and their children, Jacob and Joanna. Todd's career touched nearly all aspects of the field of strength training, brought the study of strength into academic respectability, and particularly helped create the modern sport of Strongman. He was involved in the development of both men's and women's powerlifting, and was famous for his encyclopedic knowledge of strength history and his richly detailed, humorous stories. He mentored many, and coached two of the strongest men in history - Mark Henry and Bill Kazmaier - and his wife Jan Todd, a pioneer in women's powerlifting. Todd played tennis at Travis High in Austin, and lettered at The University of Texas at Austin under Coach Wilmer Allison. After high school graduation in 1956, he began weight training and played for U.T. weighing as much as 235 pounds. Allison, like most coaches in this era, warned Todd that lifting would make him musclebound, a fact Todd intuitively knew then - and thousands of coaches understand today - was not true. Tired of his coach's nagging, Todd eventually quit the team and decided to explore his strength potential. Todd received his B.A. in English in 1961 and immediately began working on his doctorate. In 1963, he won the AAU Junior National Weightlifting Championships and then turned to the new sport of powerlifting winning the first men's national championships in 1964, and the Senior Nationals in 1965 weighing 335. He was the first man to squat 700lbs, and first to total 1600, 1700, 1800, and 1900 pounds in powerlifting. In the mid-1960s, Todd became managing editor of Strength & Health magazine while still a doctoral student. Following graduation, in 1966, he began his academic career at Auburn University then moved to Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, in 1969. During these years, Todd's focus was not on strength training but, rather, on the problems faced by America's schools. At Mercer, he founded the African- American Studies program in 1969, and ran a series of summer seminars that brought together many of the leading intellectuals then working to reform schools. Educational theorists John Holt, James Herndon, and Edgar Friedenberg became life-long friends. In 1973, when Todd married Janice (Jan) Suffolk, Jim Herndon served as his best man. Edgar Friedenberg played the pivotal role in Todd's move to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1975. In Nova Scotia, Todd's interest in strength and powerlifting rekindled as his wife, Jan began setting her own world records in powerlifting. In 1977, after Sports Illustrated profiled her in "The Pleasure of Being the World's Strongest Woman," Todd was invited to begin writing for Sports Illustrated himself. Most notable were his 1982 article on Herschel Walker, "My Body's Like an Army" that Atlanta mayor Andrew Young distributed to thousands of Atlanta school children; his 1981 article on pro wrestler Andre the Giant discussed in the 2018 HBO documentary Andre the Giant (in which Todd also appears); and his 1983 "The Steroid Predicament" regarded as one of the most important doping articles of the 1980s. Over his lifetime, Todd authored more than 500 articles in academic and popular magazines and authored or co-authored seven books including Herschel Walker's Basic Training (1985 and 1989 with Herschel Walker); Lift Your Way to Youthful Fitness (1985 with Jan Todd); and Inside Powerlifting, the first book on the sport of powerlifting (1978). Todd also founded the important academic journal Iron Game History: The Journal of Physical Culture and edited it with Jan as co-editor for 28 years. In 1983, Todd joined the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin. In the 1960s, during his research for his dissertation on the history of strength training, Todd had discovered that most libraries contained few books on weightlifting and bodybuilding and so he began collecting hoping to one day establish a library devoted to physical culture. In 2009, he achieved that dream and the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, opened in 27,500 square feet of space in the U.T. football stadium. The creation of the Stark Center with its emphasis on the history of training and physical culture has helped to redefine the academic field of sport history, and Todd was actively working to establish an endowment to ensure the Center's future when he passed. Since 2001, Todd also directed the Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) recognized as the most prestigious contest in the Strongmansport. Creating and running the ASC not only kept Todd at the forefront of the Iron Game but also led to new opportunities to unite history and strength in a series of documentary films for which he served as producer. Sponsored by The Rogue Fitness Company of Columbus, Ohio, which also sponsors the ASC, the documentaries are available free on Rogue's Facebook page. Stoneland, on which Todd served as historical consultant and co-producer, has had more than 16M views. A public memorial on Saturday, July 28 at 3:00pm at the U.T. Alumni Center at 2110 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, TX, 78712 is scheduled. See the Stark Center's website at starkcenter.org for details. In lieu of flowers, contributions are asked for the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center. Donations may be made by using the Donate Now button on the Stark Center website starkcenter.org or via regular mail to: Cindy Slater, The H.J. Lutcher Stark Center, 403 E 23rd St, Austin, TX, 78712. Make checks to "Stark Center-The University of Texas at Austin." Services handled by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home South Congress, 2620 S. Congress, Austin, TX 512-442-1446. You may view memorials: wcfish.com.

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Published in The New York Times on July 11, 2018
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