Joe Weider: Bodybuilder who discovered Arnold Schwarzenegger
Sunday 24 March 2013
Joe Weider, who died on 23 March at the age of 93, was a legendary figure in bodybuilding who helped popularise the sport worldwide and played a key role in introducing a charismatic young weightlifter named Arnold Schwarzenegger to the world.
“I knew about Joe Weider long before I met him,” Schwarzenegger said in a lengthy statement posted on his website. “He was the godfather of fitness who told all of us to be somebody with a body. He taught us that through hard work and training we could all be champions.”
Weider became better known in later years as a behind-the-scenes guru to the sport. He popularised bodybuilding and spread the message of health and fitness worldwide with such publications as Muscle & Fitness, Flex, and Shape. Schwarzenegger is the executive editor of Muscle & Fitness and Flex.
He created one of bodybuilding's pre-eminent events, the Mr Olympia competition, in 1965, adding to it the Ms Olympia contest in 1980, the Fitness Olympia in 1995 and the Figure Olympia in 2003. He also relentlessly promoted Schwarzenegger, who won the Mr Olympia title a record seven times. “Every sport needs a hero and I knew that Arnold was the right man,” he once said.
Weider brought Schwarzenegger to the US early in his career, where he helped train the future governor of California. Schwarzenegger also said Weider helped land him his first film role, in Hercules In New York, by passing him off to the producers as a German Shakespearean actor. He also mentored many other bodybuilders.
He was born in Canada in 1919, and recalled growing up in a tough section of Montreal, where he was picked on by bullies, when he came across the magazine Strength. Inspired, he built his own weights from scrap parts found in a railroad yard and pumped them relentlessly.
He won his first bodybuilding contest at 17 and soon after began to publish his first magazine, Your Physique. Later he started a mail-order barbell business, and in 1946 he and his younger brother staged the first Mr Canada contest in Montreal, at the same time forming the International Federation of Bodybuilders.
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...