LOS ANGELES -- Armand Tanny, a bodybuilding legend who, along with his brother, Vic, started some of the first fitness gyms in the country, has died.
Armand Tanny died of natural causes Saturday at a nursing facility, the Los Angeles Times reported. He was 90.
Tanny won national bodybuilding titles in 1949 and 1950 and was a popular figure at that time on Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, CA. He was one of the original nine bodybuilders from Muscle Beach who were part of Mae West’s traveling nightclub act, according to the Times. One of the other bodybuilders was Joe Gold, founder of Gold's Gym and World Gym.
Vic and Armand Tanny opened a gym on Second Street in Santa Monica in 1940. The gym was in a small, second-story loft that the brothers rented for $35 a month (membership was $5 a month). They opened another gym in 1941 in Long Beach, CA, but Pearl Harbor’s destruction brought America into World War II, and coastal blackouts forced the Tannys’ gyms to close.
By 1947, Vic Tanny owned several gyms around Los Angeles, and by 1960, the Tanny empire totaled 84 gyms throughout the country. In 1963, Vic sold his clubs in an effort to retire.
Vic Tanny died in 1985.