Joe Weider, Iconic Jewish Bodybuilding and Magazine Guru, Dies at 93

Launched Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stable of Men's Mags

Pioneer: Bodybuilding guru Joe Weider started the Mr. Olympia competition in the 1960s.
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Pioneer: Bodybuilding guru Joe Weider started the Mr. Olympia competition in the 1960s.

By Reuters

Published March 23, 2013.
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Schwarzenegger, then nicknamed the “Austrian Oak,” first gained fame by winning a string of Mr Olympia titles in the early 1970s before going on to a successful career in such films as “The Terminator” and “Total Recall.”

He was elected governor of California in 2003 and served two terms before retiring from politics.

“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, who visited Weider in the hospital before his death, said in the statement.

“I will never forget his generosity. One of Joe’s greatest qualities is that he wasn’t just generous with his money; he freely gave of his time and expertise and became a father figure for me,” he said.

Schwarzenegger also credited Weider with getting him his first acting role, in a movie called “Hercules in New York,” by claiming that the hulking young Austrian was a Shakespearean actor from Germany.

Weider, who also created a line of sports nutritional supplements and ultimately founded more than a dozen fitness magazines including Fit Pregnancy, Living Fit and Flex, sold his Weider Publicans to American Media Inc. in the early 2000s.

He is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Betty.


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