Legendary bodybuilding impresario Joe Weider, often cited by Arnold Schwarzenegger as his key mentor, is dead at 93.
Weider’s longtime publicist, Charlotte Parker, says the bodybuilder, publisher and promoter died Friday at his Los Angeles home.
Parker told The Associated Press the cause of death was heart failure.
A bodybuilder with an impressive physique himself, Weider became better known in later years as a behind-the-scenes guru to the sport.
Joe Weider, a scrawny kid who sculpted himself with bodybuilding during the Great Depression and created an empire of muscle magazines, fitness equipment, doubtful dietary supplements and Olympic-style contests featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, died on Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
He was 93. The cause was heart failure, said Charlotte Parker, his longtime publicist. Mr. Weider may not have been the 97-pound weakling of the comic books who got tired of having sand kicked in his face. But as a teenager in Montreal, he hated being roughed up by neighborhood hooligans, discovered bodybuilding in a magazine and bought into it for life. He developed a V-shaped torso with bulging biceps and abs like Michelangelo’s David, and was still muscular and jut-jawed in his 70s and 80s.
In the intervening decades, Mr. Weider (pronounced WEE-dur), who moved to the United States as a young man, founded many of the world’s most popular bodybuilding magazines, including Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Men’s Fitness and, for women, Shape. They had 25 million readers and were crammed with photos of greased bodybuilders and Hollywood stars like Sylvester Stallone, Cher and Mr. Schwarzenegger.