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Alexander, Alexander [Alick] (1849–1928), promoter of physical education, was born in Liverpool on 14 May 1849, the second son of W. C. Alexander, a chief carpenter in the Royal Navy who had settled in Liverpool at the end of his period of service. Following an education at ...

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Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869–1955) by Anthony Ludovici, 1926 © Anthony Ludovici

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Alexander, Frederick Matthias (1869–1955), originator of the Alexander technique and teacher, was born on 20 January 1869 at Wynyard, north-west Tasmania, the eldest of seven children of John Alexander (1843–1936), farmer and blacksmith, and his wife, Betsy Brown (d. 1923), a nurse....

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Berk [née Heymansohn], Lieselotte [Lotte] (1913–2003), dancer and fitness trainer, was born on 17 January 1913 in Cologne, Germany, the only daughter of Jewish parents. Her Russian father, Nicolai Heymansohn, was originally a tailor and owned shops selling clothing for men. Her German mother died of a stroke when ...

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Eileen Philippa Rose Fowler (1906–2000) by unknown photographer, 1955 [with her Keep Fit unit] Getty Images

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Fowler, Eileen Philippa Rose (1906–2000), fitness instructor, was born on 13 May 1906 at Clyde Lodge, Clyde Road, Tottenham, north London, the daughter of Herbert Henry Charles Fowler, civil engineer, and his wife, Daisy Annie Murphy. An active child from an early age she chose the stage as a career. Her parents were unhappy with her choice but allowed the young ...

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Heidenstam, Oscar Frederick Jeffery Gore (1911–1991), bodybuilder and physical culturist, was born in Cyprus on 27 February 1911, the son of Edgar Henry de Heidenstam (1884–1944) and his wife, Violet Amy, née Gore (1881–1961), daughter of James Casamaijor Gore. His noble lineage was rooted in 18th-century ...

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Oscar Frederick Jeffery Gore Heidenstam (1911–1991) by unknown photographer, pubd 1950 © reserved

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Hulley, John (1832–1875), promoter of physical education, was born at 10 Gloucester Street, Liverpool, on 19 February 1832, the only son of John Nevitt Hulley (bap. 1803, d. 1840), surgeon, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Speed (1798–1890). He was baptized at St David's Church, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool...

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McKenzie, (Robert) Tait (1867–1938), expert in physical education and sculptor, was born at Ramsay, Ontario, Canada, on 26 May 1867, the second of the three sons of William McKenzie, who had arrived in Canada from Scotland in 1858, and his wife, Catherine Shiells...

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See Pathak, Laxmishanker Gopalji

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Pullum, (Horatio) William Albert (1887–1960), weightlifter and physical culturist, was born at 118 Wells Street, Camberwell, London, on 8 April 1887, the eldest son in the family of three sons and one daughter of Horatio Henry George Pullum (1863–1946), a railway shunter, and his wife, ...

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Roth, Mathias (1818–1891), homoeopath and exercise therapist, was born in Kaschau (Košice), in the Habsburg empire, the posthumous and fourth surviving child of Mátyás Roth (d. 1818), a merchant, and his wife, Anna Schwarz (d. 1877), who ran a kosher restaurant. Educated in his home town and in ...

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Sandow, Eugen (1867–1925), strongman and physical culturist, was born Friedrich Wilhelm Müller in Königsberg, East Prussia, on 2 April 1867. According to conflicting sources he had an older brother or half-brother, and his father was either a prosperous jewel dealer or a greengrocer. His mother was Russian, or of Russian descent, and her maiden name, ...

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Eugen Sandow (1867–1925) by Henry van der Weyde, 1889 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Stack, Mary Meta [Mollie] Bagot (1883–1935), health and fitness expert, was born on 12 June 1883 in Dublin, daughter of Richard Theodore Stack (d. 1909), dentist. Both her parents were of the Irish protestant professional class. She was educated at Alexandra School...