Abbye "Pudgy" Stockton

Abbye Stockton was born on August 11, 1917, in Santa Monica. Her nickname is certainly ironic, although she was a little overweight in her high school years, Stockton was the world's first major female bodybuilder. She was well know among the Muscle Beach crowd in Los Angeles for the hand-balancing maneuvers she preformed with her husband, Les.

Stockton was also a major force in trying to get woman out of the stereotypical housewife image. She traveled around the United States extensively, running gyms with her husband, writing, talking, etc. to get women to enjoy weight lifting as she did. This also lead to a regular column by her in Strength & Health Magazine called "Barbelles."

Pudgy Stockton's glory days were before the arrival of female physique contests. She took part in a few, winning $1,000 in a 1947 contest by fitness pioneer, Bernarr MacFadden. Stockton also holds the title of "The First Lady of Iron."

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