Eugene Sandow, born Friedrich Wilhelm Müller, was a Prussian athlete who is considered to be the father of bodybuilding. He studied Greco-Roman statues, which were known for their idealized portrayal of the male body, and consciously developed his physique to meet their exact dimensions.
Thus, he became the first person to practice what we now call bodybuilding, in which people develop their musculature in specific ways to meet predetermined proportions. Until he undertook this unique project, and published two books on the subject, most people didn’t realize such a thing was possible to attain in real life.
Sandow was also one of the first global celebrities of his time, having come of age when photography and mass media were first catching on.
Read more about this interesting and little-known historical figure here.