Jerry Summers: Paul Anderson - Heavyweight Speeder

  • Thursday, February 2, 2023
  • Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers

One of my few regular readers has passed on a humorous story about the legendary world record holder in weightlifting, Paul Edward Anderson, and his experience with law enforcement of the first county north of “Gig City” on the old Highway 41 route to Music City during its era of having the reputation of being a national “speed trap.”

Paul Anderson was a native of Toccoa, Ga., and a lifelong advocate of weightlifting. He would become a Gold Medalist in the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, World Championship in 1955 in Munich, Germany and the U.S. National Weightlifting Championship that same year.

Weighing up to 370 pounds on a 5’10.5” body, Paul Anderson established many records in the field that were truly outstanding. He is recognized by many of the premier weightlifters as being the greatest lifter as both an amateur and professional.

In 1961 he and his wife Glenda founded the Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, Ga., a place for troubled youth which they supported by performing at an average of 500 speaking engagements and strength exhibitions each year.

He suffered from a congenital chronic kidney disease that would eventually kill him at the age of 61, although he was still able to perform many stunts involving world records.

Back to the alleged story of Paul Anderson being arrested for speeding in beautiful Marion County (on a bicycle).

I can only repeat the representation of my anonymous source of information who candidly stated that:

“I can attest that breaking the speed limit in a good downhill run is no problem at all. In fact, it can take some real restraint to avoid speeding…Yeah 44-45 mph on a bike you can lift with one finger has its attraction. Exhilarating is one word for it; terror is another.”

The sight of the 5’10" 370 pound Paul Anderson on a modern-day aluminum frame racer barreling down the Dixie Highway is questionable to many today.

However, on a Schwinn, Husky, or Dixie Flyer, who knows?

(The reliability of this tale of yore and its possible validity cannot be confirmed or denied except to respectfully suggest that the curious minded attempt to locate any existing court records in Jasper).

* * *

You can reach Jerry Summers at jsummers@summersfirm.com
Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson
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