One-Arm Dumbbell Row
gradyreese / Getty

Pictured here are Joe Weider and me minutes after I won the Mr. Olympia. So happy I got this moment as I told my family that I wanted to win before he died. I'm so glad I did, as I'm the last Mr. Olympia to take a winning picture with him. Joe, you taught me to achieve great success, while enabling others to also achieve higher goals. Thank you, Joe–you and Ben gave me the mindset of a champion and the heart to match.

Phil Heath

Standing Bicep Curl
Per Bernal

Joe was the pioneer of bodybuilding. This photo was taken in Joe's office at Flex Magazine the day that I signed. I was a young 23-year-old amateur and got to meet Joe Weider for the very first time. Recovering from recent back surgery, Joe had actually snuck into the office even though he was advised to recover at home.

He wasn't supposed to leave his chair, but when we met, he insisted on standing up and shaking my hand. He had so much enthusiasm and passion, and as frail as his body was, his mind was sharp. He was so passionate for everything bodybuilding and witty, too. He will have a never-ending impact in my life and on millions around the world thanks to all his achievements in media, supplements, weights, and so much more. Joe, you will be missed but you will never ever be forgotten.

We all love you, and on behalf of all the fitness industry, thank you for changing the game.

-Flex Lewis

Bicep Curl
MRBIG_PHOTOGRAPHY / Getty

Thank you, Joe. My first contact with bodybuilding was when I was 14. I picked up a Joe Weider fitness magazine in Germany with the 1980 Mr. Olympia contest coverage. I knew then that this is what I wanted to do with my life. I met Joe for the first time in the California headquarters where he signed me to a Weider contract back in 1999. I always was, and still am, proud to be a Weider athlete today.

I always looked up to the man that made it possible for many others and myself to live their dream of being a professional bodybuilder. You have helped change the lives of millions for the better and for that you will always be missed, and remembered as the Master Blaster.

Dennis James

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Rest in peace, Joe Weider. In so many ways you became the father for all in this sport. As a disciple of your Weider principles, I learned the benefits of bodybuilding, and started to build my body to the man I now am.  I thank you for the opportunity to compete in America and to make my dreams come true.

Roelly Winklaar

GAT michael liberatore

Without Joe Weider, the sport of bodybuilding would not be where it is today.  He allowed us, us bodybuilders, an avenue to express art through sculpting our bodies and gave us the world stage to showcase it.  Mr. Weider was not just the father of bodybuilding but the father of mainstream weightlifting as a whole, making it downright "cool" to go to the gym….through his magazines,  his writings, and even bringing Arnold to this country.   Most sports today have some sort of weight training foundation, which gives athletes the ability to continuously improve upon their performance and physique. And in the end, not only bodybuilders, but just about all athletes and gym-enthusiasts have Joe Weider to thank.

To say that Mr. Weider succeeded in making his dream come true is an understatement.   Take the Olympia for example. The "O" is now one of the most coveted stages on which to compete.  Champions at the Olympia hold one of the most coveted titles & bodybuilders spend their entire career trying to crack even the 9 spots behind it. From thousands of attendees, to athletes flying in from around the world to participate, to an incredibly huge expo, the dream of having one of the greatest events in the sport of bodybuilding…Joe's dream has far been exceeded.

I consider it an honor to be considered part of the Weider Family.  Joe, just like his brother Ben who passed a few years back, will be greatly missed.  I have a hope that all future IFBB Pros will know who Joe and Ben Weider were and how great of an opportunity they gave us.

Michael Liberatore

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I, like many other pro and amateur bodybuilders, was an athlete growing up. I was always competitive and loved performing on the big stage. Joe Weider's vision of turning the lifestyle of bodybuilding into an international platform to exhibit one's physique and compete against others who share the same passion, has allowed me the opportunity as an athlete to fulfill my need to better myself every single day.

Thank you, Mr. Weider, for allowing me to dream big, get big, and do it big on the big stage.

Branden Ray

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I first read about Ben and Joe Weider when I was 14 years old. The principles and motivation these men provided set the ground work for each and every IFBB pro that stood on a stage for the last 40 years. The word “gratitude” doesn't begin to explain my appreciation for what they did. Meeting Joe was truly one of the highlights of my life. I wish I had gotten to meet him sooner and gather any advice he had to offer. His death was truly a sad day for the entire fitness world. Thank you, Joe, for creating the sport that has become my life. I will always do my best to carry on your passion and knowledge so that future generations know the great industry that you created–the way you intended for them to know it.

Ben Pakulski

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In today's era where everyone is just trying to conform and fit in, Joe was an example of what it was to be an individual. He didn't care what was popular. He had a vision of what health and fitness should be and made it worldwide. His death is a major loss. If we could all live life half as courageously as Joe Weider, we’d be lucky.

Fouad Abiad

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All I can say is that if it wasn't for Joe Weider's vision and dream, I would not be here today. Thank you Joe, and R.I.P. You will never be forgotten.

Zack Khan

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It's been a pleasure to be a part of this great sport that Mr. Joe Weider and family made possible for us. When I think of Joe, I think of pictures with athletes like Arnold going through poses. I was happy to get a chance to say hi backstage to him at my first Olympia. Your vision will continue to live through us.

Shawn Rhoden

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I started training at age 14 on my dad's 1979 Joe Weider bench–plastic weights and all. If it weren’t for Joe, I never would have picked up a weight. There would be no Arnold, no Dorian, or no Ronnie. He started it all–the true Master Blaster. I watched the road to the Olympia and always wanted Joe to put that metal around my neck and shake my hand. I had the pleasure to meet Joe because a good friend of mine–Ed Connors–took me to Joe's office and made me pose right there on the spot. I feel very blessed to having met and spoken with the man who is now considered the father of bodybuilding. The Olympia will not be the same with out you, Joe, and we will miss you greatly. Thank you for what you’ve done for all of us.

Frank McGrath