‘Pocket Hercules’: India’s former Mr Universe Manohar Aich dies at 104

Manohar Aich, a celebrated Indian bodybuilder and former Mr. Universe, has died in the eastern city of Kolkata. He was 104. Aich’s family said he died Sunday from health issues related to his age. Aich, who grew up as a puny youngster, overcame many hurdles, including poverty and a stint in prison, to achieve bodybuilding glory. He won the Mr Universe title in London in 1952 and returned a hero to India, where many took up bodybuilding inspired by his success.

He was an inspiration to everyone, young and old. Death is inevitable but Manohar Aich will be remembered by all, across every sporting discipline.

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He also won several titles when competing in the Asian Bodybuilding Championships. He was known as the “Pocket Hercules” owing to his 4ft 11ins (150cm) frame. Aich often told his fans that the secret to his long life was his ability to take his troubles lightly and remain happy during difficult times. That, and a simple diet of milk, fruits and vegetables along with rice, lentils and fish kept him healthy, he said.