From the Archives: Covering the Mr. Nude International-U.S.A. contest

July 13, 1980: Photographers crowd around to capture the naked truth as Jerry Kinley makes his bid
July 13, 1980: Photographers crowd around to capture the naked truth as Jerry Kinley makes his bid for the Mr. Nude International-U.S.A. title. He was chosen as second runner-up.
(Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

Photographer Ken Hively worked for a family newspaper. His assignment — take images at the Mr. Nude International-U.S.A. beauty contest.

In July 1980, Los Angeles Times photographer Ken Hively and writer Steve Harvey covered the competition held at Treehouse Fun Ranch near San Bernardino.

Harvey later wrote, "About 200 people attended the judging, which was clothing-optional -- a good thing for media types who had to pin their press ribbons on something.

Back in 2010, Hively added, "I spent the day with writer Steve Harvey. Both of us were just about the only ones with our clothes on. Hundreds were looking at us funny."

Hively adds, "Working at a family newspaper, and it being my first year or two, I was a bit green and worried how I was going to illustrate the Mr. Nude International.”

"I photographed the whole time from the waist up, and as we were walking away, I turned around and saw what turned out to be 'The Shot' that was used in the paper. An assistant was holding a flash over the subject's private parts while a photographer photographed him on stage."

Hively describes his early days at the Los Angeles Times as "the great black-and-white years. My all-time favorite photo from those years has to be 'Mr. Nude.' "

"Mr. Nude" was published the next day on the Metro section front, along with the story by Harvey.

Harvey reported that “aspiring actor” Bill Marino won the Mr. Nude International-U.S.A. honors. First runner-up was Jim Flowers. There were 14 contestants in the competition.

Hively worked at The Times until 2009.

This post was originally published on Nov. 19, 2010.

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