Founder of York Barbell Dies at 86
YORK, Pa. (AP) _ Robert C. Hoffman, founder of York Barbell Corp., the nation’s No. 1 maker of Olympic-style weightlifting equipment, died Thursday at York Hospital. He was 86.
Hoffman, a native of Tifton, Ga., was sickly as a child and assembled his first weightlifting equipment from old cog wheels and junk metal in an effort to improve his strength.
In 1932, Hoffman, who moved to Pennsylvania with his family as a child, bought Milo Barbell Co. at a bankruptcy sale and entered the business of manufacturing barbells. He founded York Barbell in 1935.
Hoffman also formed a weightlifting team, recruiting members to compete and to work for York Oil Burner Corp., which he co-founded in 1919. His team won the national Amateur Athletic Union championship in 1933.
He produced his first Olympic winner in 1936 when Terry Terlazzo, a member of the York Barbell Club, won a medal at the Berlin games. York lifters went on to win numerous national, world and Olympic honors.
Hoffman served as a member of both the U.S. AAU and U.S. Olympic committees, and was on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Funeral arrangements and the names of any surviving family members were not immediately available.