Fitness guru Joe Weider dies at 93

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Fitness guru Joe Weider dies at 93

LOS ANGELES - Joe Weider, the self-made fitness and bodybuilding guru who built a magazine empire that included more than a dozen popular publications such as Muscle and Fitness, Shape and Men’s Fitness, died on Saturday at the age of 93.

Weider, also known for starting the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contest in the 1960s and mentoring a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, passed away from heart failure at a Los Angeles area hospital, his longtime publicist Charlotte Parker said.

“Joe Weider was a titan in the fitness industry and one of the kindest men I have ever met,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement posted on his Web site. “He leaves behind a fantastic legacy of a fitter world,” the film star and former governor of California said. “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.”

Born in a tough neighborhood of Montreal in 1920, Weider began lifting weights as a teenager to stand up to bullies and older boys before competing in his first bodybuilding contest at the age of 17, according to a biography provided by Parker. Reuters
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