So sad. The man who discovered Arnold Schwarzenegger and founded a bodybuilding empire passed away on Saturday, Mar. 23 from heart failure.
Joe Weider, revolutionary founder of a bodybuilding empire, died from heart failure in Los Angeles, California on Mar. 23. He was 93 years old.
Joe Weider: Bodybuilding King Passes Away At 93
Joe, born in Montreal, Canada, became obsessed with bodybuilding after reading an article in “Strength and Health” as a teenager. He went on to revolutionize bodybuilding culture by creating several muscle magazines — Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Men’s Fitness, Shape — dietary supplements, and competitive muscle-building contests that turned the hobby into a sport like Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia.
Joe’s magazines garnered a readership of over 25 million by featuring bulked up celebs like Sylvester Stallone, Cher, and of course Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He became Arnold’s mentor — it was Joe who brought Arnold to the United States in 1968, giving him $100 a week to write articles for his magazines. He’s the one who turned Arnold from a foreign muscle man into an American megastar.
“He advised me on my training, on my business ventures, and once, bizarrely, claimed I was a German Shakespearean actor to get me my first acting role in ‘Hercules in New York,’ even though I barely spoke English,” Arnold said in a statement. “He was there for me constantly throughout my life, and I will miss him dearly.”
Joe’s bodybuilding empire was completed when he started his own line of supplements. Starting as a low-scale local mail-order company with catchy product names like “Solid Steel Tricep Bomber,” the company skyrocketed and in ten years was established in over 60 countries and grossing millions of dollars annually.
Joe is widely regarded as the king of the bodybuilding and weight-lifting worlds. “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,” Arnold also said.
He is survived by his second wife Betty Brosmer, his daughter Lydia Ross and her three grandchildren. He will be deeply missed.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joe’s friends and family.
— Andrew Gruttadaro
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