Bodybuilding developed in the late 19th century, promoted in England by German Eugen Sandow, now considered as the "Father of Bodybuilding". He allowed audiences to enjoy viewing his physique in "muscle display performances". Sandow organized the first bodybuilding contest in 1901, called the "Great Competition", at the Royal Albert Hall in London. In 1904, the first large-scale bodybuilding competition in America took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, promoted by Bernarr Macfadden. Similar contests were held by Macfadden in 1921 and 1922, with Charles Atlas the winner both times. In the early 20th century, Macfadden and Atlas continued to promote bodybuilding across the world.
But bodybuilding contests were rare until the inception of the Mr. America contest in 1939. The sport developed quickly after World War II, and bodybuilding became more popular in the 1950s and 1960s, and the number of bodybuilding organizations grew. Most notably the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) was founded in 1946. IFBB started in 1965 Mr. Olympia, now considered the most important bodybuilding competition in the world. The first US Women's National Physique Championship held in Canton, Ohio in 1978, is generally regarded as the first female bodybuilding contest. In 1980, the first Ms. Olympia was held. In the early 2000s, the IFBB was attempting to make bodybuilding an Olympic sport, but this did not happen yet.