Bob Paris (born Robert Clark Paris on December 14, 1959) is an American-Canadian writer, actor, public speaker, civil rights activist and former professional bodybuilder. Paris was the 1983 NPC American National and IFBB World Bodybuilding Champion, Mr. Universe.
Paris was born and grew up in Southern Indiana. He was both an artistic and athletic young man. He won National Scholastic awards for his drawings and paintings, was active in his school’s theater group and debate team and he wrote short stories in his spare time. From an early age, he was an avid outdoorsman who dedicated a large portion of his time to hiking and backpacking through the wooded hills of Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest and other nearby wilderness areas. He was also a dedicated bicyclist. He played high school football and was active in both track and field and golf. Paris often said that it was this blending of his artistic and athletic sides that initially lead him to pursue bodybuilding.
In 2006, Flex Magazine ranked Bob Paris the most aesthetic athlete in the history of bodybuilding. Renowned for both his aesthetics and artistic approach toward the sport, he was also a dedicated advocate for the rights of athletes and an outspoken voice in the push for drug testing at the professional level. He retired from bodybuilding in 1991.
In addition to his writing career, Bob Paris remains a civil rights advocate and public speaker. He is also a model and a classically trained theatre actor. Since rising to fame in the early eighties, Bob Paris has graced the covers of scores of magazines worldwide.
In the July 1989 issue of Ironman, Paris came out in the media as a gay man. He was the world’s first male professional athlete, in any sport, to come out in the media while still an active competitor in his sport.
As an amateur:
1981 NPC Mr. Los Angeles, (Los Angeles, California), Light-heavyweight class and Overall: 1st
1982 NPC Mr. Southern California (Pasadena, California), Light-heavyweight class and Overall: 1st
1982 NPC California Muscle Classic (Pasadena, California), Light-heavyweight class and Overall: 1st
1982 NPC Mr. California (San Jose, California), Light-heavyweight class: 2nd
1982 NPC American National Championships [Mr. America] (New York City), Heavyweight class: 3rd
1983 NPC National Championships [Mr. America] (San Jose, California), Heavyweight class and Overall: 1st
1983 IFBB World Championships [Mr. Universe and professional qualifier] (Singapore), Heavyweight class and Overall: 1st
Additional professional competition highlights:
1988 IFBB Niagara Falls Grand Prix (Niagara Falls, New York): 3rd
1988 IFBB Night of Champions (New York City): 3rd
1988 IFBB Spanish Grand Prix (Madrid, Spain): 4th
1988 IFBB Italian Grand Prix (Bergamo, Italy): 3rd
1989 IFBB Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic (Columbus, Ohio): 5th
1989 IFBB World Professional Championship (Surfers Paradise, Australia): 3rd
1991 IFBB Montreal Grand Prix (Montreal, Quebec): 3rd