Armand Tanny passes away at age 90

By Shawn Perine

April 7, 2009


One week after iron great Irvin “Zabo” Koszewski left for the Great Gym in the Sky, his longtime pal and Muscle Beach cohort Armand Tanny has passed at the age of 90.

Born March 5th, 1919 in Rochester, New York, Tanny took to lifting at an early age under the tutelage of older brother Vic, who would later go on to found the highly successful Vic Tanny Centers, which would later become Bally’s Health Clubs.

So prodigious a physique talent was Tanny that he was featured in Strength & Health magazine at just 14. As an Olympic lifter he would place second in the heavies at the 1941 Junior Nationals with an 810-pound total.

Tanny served in the Navy during WWII but was forced into early honorable discharged by a knee injury. After recovering he did a brief stint in professional wrestling and then followed brother Vic to Santa Monica, California, where he entered into competitive bodybuilding.

Although his competitive career spanned from just 1949 to 1950, Tanny won three of the five competitions he entered – Mr. 1949, 1949 Pro Mr. America and 1950 Pro Mr. USA, in the latter edging out the great George Eiferman.

During this same time Tanny began writing articles for his friend Joe Weider’s publications, a role he would continue to fulfill for a half century. Years later daughter Mandy would follow in her dad’s footsteps, as a regular contributor to Muscle & Fitness and FLEX magazines with articles on nutrition and women’s training issues.

Ironically, days before Zabo’s passing, he paid Armand a visit, bidding farewell to his dear old brother in iron. In retrospect it would seem the sentiment was mutual.

All of us at the AMI/Weider family would like to express our deep condolences to Mandy Tanny and the entire Tanny family and, along with fans around the world, pay special recognition to one of bodybuilding’s true legends, Armand Tanny.