Remembering Joe Weider
Joe Weider died on Saturday morning in a Los Angeles hospital. He was 93.
Weider was known as a fitness icon, a bodybuilding hero and a major publisher in fitness media. He created nutritional products that sold worldwide. He was a trainer to Arnold Schwarzenegger and he encouraged him to pursue bodybuilding while he worked with Lou Ferrigno and the Incredible Hulk.
"Joe didn't just inspire my earliest dreams; he made them come true the day he invited me to move to America to pursue my bodybuilding career," Schwarzenegger wrote on his website. "I will never forget his generosity."
Weider published many legendary titles that included Shape, Men's Fitness, Natural Health, Flex and Muscle and Fitness. In their prime, they had 25 million readers and featured Hollywood hot bodies like Sylvester Stallone and Cher.
He developed and sold workout equipment and dietary supplements that became an instant success. By the 1980's, Weider was selling his fitness and nutritional equipment in stores across the country and by the 1990's he grossed hundreds of millions of dollars with his products worldwide. In 2003, he sold his magazine empire for $350 million to America Media and held on to other parts of the company.
"He leaves behind a fantastic legacy of a fitter world," Schwarzenegger said. "Very few people can claim to have influenced as many lives as Joe did through his magazines, his supplements, his training equipment, and his big-hearted personality."
Weider leaves behind his wife, Betty.
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