BIG loss for our sport:
I got to know Ron Teufel for too short a time. I knew of him first from the magazines. I was very impressed by his great muscularity during the time period that he was going head to head in competition with Tom Platz and Tony Pearson, just to name a few. He really did impress me greatly. Nearly a year later, I competed against him for the Mr. Universe in Columbus, Ohio. He was in unbelievable condition. It was a very tight contest between the two of us and he came close to taking my trophy away from me. He certainly was more ripped than I was that year. I barley escaped with the title.
Later, in 1980, I met him during my seminar at George Snyder’s gym in Warrington, Pennsylvania. Ron challenged me to a pose-down during that seminar and we became friends immediately afterwards. Later that year Ron came out to Santa Monica for a short visit. We trained together at Gold’s Gym. I remember working out at that time with the musician and actor, Isaac Hayes. Ron showed up one day during our workout. Among the other people in the Gym that day were Mike and Ray Mentzer, Casey Viator, Joe Nazario, Tom Platz, Ken Waller, Pete Grymkowski, Andreas Cahling and Chris Dickerson.
I’ll always remember Ron as an incredibly nice person and a very competitive athlete. The more I got to know him, the more I liked him. It's very unfortunate to lose people like him. Ron was “for real”, up front and had a great sense of humor. The only reason that he and I did not spend more time together was that he lived most of the time in Pennsylvania and I was in California. Ron’s untimely death is a BIG loss for our sport.
- Samir Bannout, Mr. Olympia
The sheer joy:
The sheer joy in his face when he was in a pose-down was amazing. Even in the showdown of all time with Tony Pearson, it seemed as if he was sharing a secret with the audience, his love of bodybuilding. When he and Bertil Fox faced off in a pose-down at the 1982 Night of Champions, there were no two better bodies in the universe.
- C.D. Monroe
The women in the audience would gasp:
I first met Ron at the 1981 Louisiana Grand Prix. His photos in the various bodybuilding magazines had left me with an impression of him as possibly being arrogant or tough. Upon meeting him, I was surprised to find him to be very polite and extremely approachable. Even the penmanship of his autograph was very clear and professional. In other words, he was a very nice guy whose reputation in the press didn't match the man that I met. I remember as he was posing that night, he’d adjust his suit to display more of his quadriceps development during his presentation. The women in the audience would gasp each time. Ron had a knock out physique and a great personality. I guess not only can’t you judge a book by its cover but also that first, in-person, impressions are lasting ones. I am glad to see this website tribute to him and the preservation of his memory.
- Steve Speyrer
When I saw his abs I knew I wanted to train and look like a bodybuilder:
Ron Teufel was the reason I started lifting weights. When I was in junior high school back in the mid 1970s, during "health week" Ron and a couple of other bodybuilders came and gave a seminar and a posing exhibition. When I saw his abs I knew I wanted to train and look like a bodybuilder.
- Mike Martin
I photographed him at the 1978 Mr. America:
I never had the opportunity to meet Ron, but I did photograph him at the 1978 Mr. America. I'm sending a couple of pictures from that contest (see color contest photos at right).
- Ed Taylor
Ron always created a buzz wherever he went:
In the spring of 1979, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was king of the bodybuilders and Sylvester Stallone was fighting his way to the top of the box office, I invited bodybuilding superstar Ron Teufel to my Staten Island Bodybuilding Club for what turned out to be a very well received and momentous seminar. The Ron Teufel Seminar was covered nationally in a two-part feature in Dan Lurie’s “Muscle Training Illustrated” and gave Ron a forum to express his opinionated views on the world of Muscledom. I remember the day of the seminar very well. It was a bright sunny day and outside my gym were about two hundred members waiting to get in to see and learn from the man with the “slab of abs”. There was one problem! Ron Teufel was nowhere to be found. The doors to the gym remained locked for fear of a riot. As the minutes ticked away the crowd began to get impatient. After nearly an hour of waiting the crowd started to get loud and, after panic nearly set into my usual calm self, I went outside to answer questions about Ron’s whereabouts and stall for more time. Suddenly I heard the sound of screeching tires roaring down towards the club and looked in disbelief as Ron Teufel raced his red Trans Am in our direction. He nearly ran over some of the gym's members who were waiting for his arrival. As Ron and his girlfriend exited his car, you could feel the energy and joy that he felt to see all of the fans that had come to see him. The seminar was a great event that was followed by a gala dinner held in Ron’s honor and attended by the Staten Island Bodybuilding Club’s staff and members. It seems Ron always created a buzz wherever he went. At one of Dan Lurie’s Pro shows that I attended, Ron went on stage to say a few words and was taunted by the audience to show them his “slab of abs”. After several minutes of screams from his fans, Ron complied and picked up his shirt to the amazement of the crowd. He displayed a perfect abdominal region that rivaled the best in the sport. That incident brought him heat from the AAU, since he had been previously warned not to “pose” on any other bodybuilding stage other than their own. For some mysterious reason Ron Teufel was never awarded the title of Mr. America. A title he so richly deserved but was denied and placed runner up to five times. I always felt that this was the central disappointment that pushed Ron over the edge. He was so close to realizing his dream but was denied because of dirty politics in the sport he loved. Through the years I occasionally heard from Ron and always enjoyed his phone calls and thoughts about muscle building and the sport. One thing he was always passionate about was the politics in bodybuilding and how he felt that he had been robbed of his dreams. When I got the news of Ron’s passing I was not shocked, for I knew deep inside that he felt emptiness in his heart where joy should have been.
- Mario Strong
I will always consider him as a true, but uncrowned, Mr. America:
Ron was a hard trainer and a very focused athlete. His dense vascular muscularity was years ahead of its time. Ron was also a real regular guy - honest, funny and straight talking. I will always consider him as a true, but uncrowned, Mr. America.
- Danny Padilla, Mr. USA, Mr. America and Mr. Universe
The atmosphere would be electric:
I started lifting weights in my basement in the late 1970's. My brother and I would buy the old Iron Man and Muscular Development magazines. We would often see Ron Teufel featured inside and on the covers. We knew that he was a local guy and that he trained at a gym called Ryan's in Norwood, Pennsylvania. When I turned fifteen, I joined that same gym. There were pictures of Teuful decorating all the walls. By that time Ron was already at the height of his career and was doing most of his training out in California. When he would come back to town and train, the atmosphere would be electric. He was like a god to my friends and me and to actually get to see him train in person was great for all of us. As I got to know him, I came to understand that Ron was just a regular guy from the neighborhood. He really took the time to help all of us younger guys out. He even occasionally used to drive us home from the gym in his Trans am. As his career wound down we didn't see Ron around the gym as much anymore. When we did see him, he would still look fantastic, he just had the most incredible genetics. As I got older, I moved on to different gyms and then eventually started my own. I was really sad when I heard that Ron had passed away. I wish he was still around now and could walk through the doors of my place so that we could catch a workout together.
- Steve Pulcinella, owner: Iron Sport Gym
I'll always cherish the thrill of standing on stage with one of the best athletes this sport has ever known:
I met Ron Teufel and experienced his humble generosity. As a teenager, I drew a picture of Ron with a black Flair pen. My drawing was based on a photo that appeared in one of the muscle magazines. I glued the photograph from the magazine next to my drawing and had it framed. Ron was appearing at the Mr. Lancaster County competition in Lancaster, Pennsylvania when I got a chance to meet him. I had about a hundred photocopies made of my drawing. I offered these copies to Ron as a gift. He gave me a t-shirt and signed my original artwork, "Ron Teufel Mr. USA". Ron was very kind to spend a few minutes that day in Lancaster with a skinny teenage fan who was holding a lot of sheets of copy paper. He even invited me on to the stage and introduced me and showed my artwork to the audience. Once I was on stage with him, he offered to autograph the photocopies for his fans. He paused for a moment, turned to me and said to the audience "What, for a buck or two"? I'll always cherish the thrill of standing on stage with one of the best athletes this sport has ever known. It was so very generous of Ron to give me some of his spotlight! Thank you for creating a site to honor his memory.
- Curt James
His great dream was to be the best in the world:
I was Ron’s friend in High School. We were on the wrestling team together. I was 112 pounds then, Ron was 132. He was the school hero. Everybody loved him. He and I shared one thing in common, we loved to dance and listen to James Brown. He took me under his wing. I was the skinny kid that nobody knew but Ron took a liking to me, that was the kind of person he was. He cared about people, he was humble and he was actually shy with the girls. His great dream was to be the best in the world at something. He was a natural at nearly every sport he participated in; diving, wrestling, football, dancing, you name it, but bodybuilding was his ticket and his true passion. Ron worked incredibly hard at achieving his bodybuilding dreams. He dedicated no less than four hours a day to these pursuits. More often than not, he’d put in eight hours a day, posing, lifting and helping others. I remember being back stage with him at the 1976 Mr. America helping him prepare to go on stage. He was young in age but advanced well past his years in his physical development. He could have been one of the greatest of all time. Ron could never understand the politics of the sport. He would say, “How can you be the very best, and still have them rob you of all your hard work and sacrifice"? He never got over these disappointments. He would say, “I will work twice as hard next year. Then there is no way that they can take it from me again”. He never did get the America crown. These frustrations turned him away from the sport that he loved so much. They stole from him the one title that he so rightly deserved. Ron passed away far too young but he will be remembered forever as a kind, caring, generous, and fun-loving person. He was gracious to nearly everyone that he met and a great friend to me. I was able to share a few words at his viewing; the church was filled to capacity. He inspired me in our youth and still inspires me now. He will be greatly missed.
- Dennis Carr
Although I never met him, I still feel as though I knew him:
I was devastated to hear that Ronnie had passed away. Ron and I were born in the same year, we both grew up in Pennsylvania and we both loved the sport of bodybuilding. I always looked to Ron for inspiration during my training days in the late 1970s and early 80s. It was during that time that I also trained for a while with fellow Pennsylvania native and 1980 AAU - Mr. Pennsylvania, Joe Bucci. My brother-in-law also has very fond memories of Ron from his time in Delaware County. My son has now started working out. About a month ago I was looking at a photograph of him doing dumbbell curls. I stared at the picture for several minutes and the angle from which it was taken made me feel as though I'd seen that pose somewhere before. Then it hit me. My son's long blond hair, his high traps, his quads . . . "That looks like a young Ron Teufel''! I had not thought about Ron in some time. I still have a framed photograph of him from when I was an eighteen-year-old fan. I went and looked Ron up on the Internet and that's when I discovered the news of his sad and untimely death. Ron was part of my youth. Although I never met him, I still feel as though I knew him. God bless you Ron. I hope we'll meet on the other side.
- Mark Altomare
That night the Teufel family had a lot to celebrate:
A friend of a friend of mine went down to Pennsylvania to see a bodybuilding contest one night. Ron Teufel won that show. While driving home from the competition, the fans were involved in an auto accident. Several passengers in their car were seriously injured. Driving directly behind them on the highway, and sustaining damage to their vehicle as well, was Ron, his mother Carol, his sister Terri and Terri’s friend Joan. They were returning from that same bodybuilding contest. They helped administer first aid by the side of the road and went to the emergency room where the injured were taken. That night the Teufel family had a lot to celebrate. Their car was not so damaged that they couldn’t have just driven home, but they stopped and helped until the emergency medical personnel arrived and then followed on to the hospital. Actions speak louder than words.
- Ed Mines