Joe Weider, who popularized bodybuilding, dies at 93

March 24, 2013 5:35:29 AM PDT
Joe Weider, a legendary figure in bodybuilding who helped popularize the sport worldwide and played a key role in introducing a charismatic young weightlifter named Arnold Schwarzenegger to the world, died Saturday. He was 93.

Weider's publicist, Charlotte Parker, told The Associated Press that the bodybuilder, publisher and promoter died of heart failure at his home in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley.

"I knew about Joe Weider long before I met him," Schwarzenegger, who tweeted the news of his old friend's death, 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."

A bodybuilder with an impressive physique himself, Weider became better known in later years as a behind-the-scenes guru to the sport.

He popularized bodybuilding and spread the message of health and fitness worldwide with such publications as Muscle & Fitness, Flex and Shape. Schwarzenegger himself is the executive editor of Muscle & Fitness and Flex.

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