Israel David Asnis was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1911, the son of Russian immigrants. When he was a teenager, his family moved to the Newark, New Jersey area where his father owned a candy and tobacco shop. By the mid-1930s, Mr. Asnis had taken up bodybuilding while working as a clerk at a brass foundry. A part-time job modeling men's fashions led to his meeting photographer Al Urban who was just starting his career. Physique photography folklore has it that it was David Asnis who suggested that Mr. Urban take up male photography full time. By 1937, photos like the one above of David Asnis began to appear, and the rest is history as they say.