Write to the Point!

A Neighborhood Studios Program at the Mark Twain House

Bodybuilding Librarian With a Soft Spot for His Wife and Son

By Indira Senderovic

Writing Apprentice

Twain Studios

The world’s strongest librarian, Josh Hanagarne, hails from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Raised as a Mormon, he later changed his faith when his curiosity about the church caused him to question it.

Hanagarne said he can rip a deck of cards in eight pieces, break a horseshoe with his hands and pick up 500 pounds with his finger.

He was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome in his freshman year in high school, but symptoms came earlier. It was hard for him in middle school because the Tourette’s started progressing and he developed vocal tics.

Hanagarne said he met Adam T. Glass, a survivor of a massive brain injury, who helped him with his Tourette’s. Glass has a gift, Hanagarne said, that enables him to help direct body movements toward healing.

He sleeps about three hours a night, Hanagarne said, and stays up most of the time reading.

When he was younger, his mother tried to ban books from the house but he snuck them in whenever he could. He read his first Stephen King book in fifth grade and last week was excited to serve as part of the security when King appeared at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.

Hanagarne choked up when he talked about his family. He said marrying his wife was the smartest thing he ever did. Because of his troubles with Tourette’s, he said, he wasn’t sure she should marry him.

But before their wedding, she told him she was happier with him than without him. Today, they have a five-year-old son Max, a boy he said is a miracle baby because they weren’t expected to be able to conceive.

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