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Special Guest Honor Awards


From time to time, the AOBS presents special awards to recognize outstanding achievement in, and outstanding contributions to, the Iron Game. The following people have been so recognized by the AOBS as "Special Guest Honor Award" winners.


Oct 1, 1988

Rudy Riska


Sep 22, 1990

Joe "The Great" Rollino

Dr Theodore Struhl


Sep 28, 1991

Leo Murdock

Jim Sanders


Oct 10, 1993

Dennis Rogers


Jun 12, 2004

Art Ehman


October 23, 2010

Dave Prowse




ArtieEhmanArtie Ehman - To reach a National level in weightlifting and/or bodybuilding requires dedication. Some argue it requires considerable talent as well, arguing that without the right “genes” or other natural advantages, one cannot accomplish such a thing. Well what about an athlete who lacks one, perhaps the most important, of our senses, yet goes on to become a champion in bodybuilding and weightlifting? Well Artie Ehman accomplished that and much, much more across his amazing life, after being blinded by an accident in childhood. This former Mr. New Jersey and Jr. National Weightlifting Championship medallist is living proof that heroes exist and that nothing is impossible to the man (or woman) with an indomitable will.








Leo Murdock - Leo Murdock was one of the founders of the AOBS. A lifelong devotee of weight training, Leo was born in Brooklyn. After developing his strength and physique, he relocated to Dallas Texas, where ha had a very successful gym for a number of years. He later returned to NY, where he developed an enormous clientele for the therapy he provided at the famed NY Athletic Club. Leo and Vic Boff worked closely together to develop the AOBS and Leo served as its MC for many years. His daughter, Rosemary Miller, continues to support the AOBS.



prowseDave Prowse - Dave took up weight training to overcome illness and disability inflicted on him during his childhood. He developed a phenomenal physique that enabled him to compete with the best in the world in the NABBA Mr. Universe competition, becoming the tallest competitor ever to do so. He then decided to apply the great strength he had developed through his devoted training to the sport of Olympic-style Weightlifting, becoming the British National champion in that sport. He then turned his attention to the field of acting and soon made a wonderful career for himself in that art, ultimately portraying the world renowned villain, Darth Vader, in the first three Star Wars movies. Dave has always been one to use his success as a vehicle to help young people and he has been recognized in his own country and around the world, as a great hero and philanthropist to the young in need.





Rudy Riska - A former NY Yankee, Rudy Riska went on to become the long time Athletic Director and event manager at the famed Downtown Athletic Club in NYC. During his tenure with the DAC, he became the Executive Director of The Heisman Memorial Trophy, where he remains the Director Emeritus. He also served as the Executive Director of the National Association of Club Athletic Directors of America. Rudy was instrumental is securing the DAC as the venue for the AOBS annual dinners from 1986 through 1999.







Dennis Rogers (l.) - Dennis Rogers has thrilled audiences worldwide for decades with his fabulous feats of strength. Originally gaining renown as a champion arm wrestler and phenomenal curler, Dennis became intrigued with old-time feats of strength and began to specialize in them, with spectacular results. Vic Boff recognized Dennis on October 10, 1993 with a special award in connection with Dennis’ holding back two planes accelerating in opposite directions. Not only has Dennis excelled in feats of strength, but he is now focused on training and developing a new generation of strongmen ready to carry on the tradition of old-time strongmanism.






Joe "The Great" Rollino - A true modern marvel, Joe Rollino celebrated his 100th birthday on May 19, 2005. Living beyond the age of 100 is by itself amazing enough, but Joe would be considered vigorous for a man a quarter century younger. His vivid memories of his childhood (he apprenticed with the legendary Warren Lincoln Travis when he was 10 years old), and all the years since make him an unparalleled source of Iron Game (and boxing - another one of his loves) history. Joe became an outstanding strongman in his own right (particularly when you consider his 145lb. bodyweight), having bent coins with is fingers, back lifted more than 3500 lb. and one finger lifted more than 600 lb. In addition to being a strongman, Joe has introduced to, and trained countless numbers of people in the principles of sound diet and exercise. A vegetarian for 80 years, Joe has never drank or smoked, and still exercises daily. He rises every day at 5 AM and goes to bed at 9 PM (regularity being one of his cardinal principles of good health). To say he is an inspiration to all would be a true understatement of major proportions!



JimSandersJim Sanders - Artist extraordinaire, Jim Sanders is widely known for his artistic style and skill – one of his paintings hung in the Bush (II) White House. Jim became interested in the Iron Game at an early age, and trains faithfully until this day. An admirer of bodybuilders, weightlifters and other strength athletes since childhood, he came to the attention of the AOBS when he painted a portrait of the great John Grimek and presented it to him at the AOBS dinner in 1986. Seeing the extraordinary response of Grimek and the audience, Vic Boff asked Jim if he would be willing to create these masterworks for each honoree each year. And he has done so without fail for every AOBS gathering since that time, developing an incredible body of work along the way. Jim has received both Special Guest of Honor awards and Carry On Awards from the AOBS, something he richly deserves. We hope he will continue to grace us with his presence and his artistic skills for many years to come.





Dr. Theodore Struhl - An active weight trainer for many years, Dr. Struhl also worked with youngsters to teach them the ins and outs of the Iron Game. Many athletes consulted with Dr. Struhl over the years to maintain the capability to compete. Later in his career, Dr. Struhl became well known as an expert witness in many complex court cases.