Thursday, January 6, 2011

Body Building Perfection: Mr. Universe Bob Paris

Bob Paris (born Robert Clark Paris in 1959) has become a famous writer, actor, public speaker, and gay civil rights activist.  But before all of that, he had already become one of the most celebrated body builders of all time.  Since rising to fame in the early 1980's, Bob Paris has graced the covers of scores of magazines worldwide.  In an era of enhanced drug use with many sportsmen, Bob pushed for drug testing at the professional level. He retired from bodybuilding in 1991 at the top of his game.

“Every gay and lesbian person who has been lucky enough to survive the turmoil of growing up is a survivor. Survivors always have an obligation to those who will face the same challenges.” Bob Paris


Bob blended his artistic and athletic backgrounds to create a classic physique emphasizing the beauty of the male form over simply mass muscles. His workout books are considered among the best in the field because they apply common sense to the mechanics of exercise and diet, and explore the deeper aspects of true fitness and self-esteem.

In the July 1989 issue of Ironman magazine, Bob Paris came out to the media as a proud gay man.  He and his then-partner Rod Jackson (Jackson once posed for a Playgirl centerfold) had a Unitarian commitment ceremony in 1989.  He started successful non-profit companies, lectured on a wide variety of issues and topics, and made many television, radio, newspaper and magazine appearances. In 1995, the couple separated.  Today, Mr. Paris lives with his spouse Brian near Vancouver, British Columbia. Together since 1996, Bob and Brian were legally married after Canada equalized the marriage laws in 2003.
Below: Bob Paris today.

3 comments:

Mike, Studio city said...

That's a good bit of info. I did not know about him.

Bob in Toronto said...

I remember all the buzz about Bob Paris and the marriage to Rod Jackson-Paris, but I had completely forgotten about them since they split up. Thanks for the update! I'm really glad to know that Bob Paris has continued to lead a life of accomplishment and integrity, and especially happy to know that he and his partner Brian have found a welcoming environment here in Canada.

I tried to find out what became of Rod Jackson, but only came up with unconfirmed rumours, most of which had a negative tone and sounded like bitchy gossip.

I recall Bob and Rod getting hit with some backlash from the gay community during the days when they were getting a lot of publicity, and I thought it was really sad that some people within our community attacked them as phony just because they presented themselves as a happy, well-adjusted gay couple. While the relationship eventually broke up, it still lasted longer than a lot of straight marriages between people in the public eye.

Thanks for the reminder and update!

Steve the fisherman said...

Thanks for the adtl info. I keep wanting to look up Jackson's Playgirl photos but haven't yet. Steve