Bill Bowerman (1911-1999) was an American track and field coach and co-founder of Nike, Inc. Over his career, he trained 31 Olympic athletes, 51 All-Americans, 12 American record-holders, 22 NCAA champions and 16 sub-4 minute milers. During his 24 years as coach at the University of Oregon, the Ducks track and field team attained 4 NCAA titles, and finished in the top 10 in the nation 16 times.
As co-founder of Nike, he invented some of their top brands, including the Cortez and Waffle Racer, and assisted in the company moving from being a distributor of other shoe brands to one creating their own shoes in house.
During a trip to New Zealand in 1962, Bowerman was introduced to the concept of jogging as a fitness routine. Bowerman brought this concept back to the United States, and began to write articles and books about jogging. He also created a jogging program in Eugene that became a national model for fitness programs. In 1966, along with cardiologist W.E. Harris, Bowerman published a 90-page book titled Jogging. The book sold over a million copies and was credited with igniting the jogging phenomenon in the United States.
Paige Palmer – 2018 NFHOF Inductee
Paige Palmer (1916-2009) was born in Akron, Ohio. She was the hostess of the first daily televised fitness-oriented television show in the United States. The Paige Palmer Show ran on WEWS-TV, Cleveland, Ohio from 1948 to 1973. Palmer also designed exercise equipment and fashions for women.
Along with exercise, Paige promoted good healthy eating. Congress named her "The First Lady of Fitness" because of her pioneering work in physical activity and exercise.
Paige said, “I wanted to put on exercise classes for employees of companies. I went to the rubber companies, all the stores of Cleveland and Akron. They thought I was out of my mind." Today many, if not most, of the large companies have fitness centers and are following many of the same regiments that Paige recommended more than sixty years ago.
Paige’s TV career ended in 1973, when she was diagnosed with Meniere's syndrome, a condition that affects the sense of balance. She died years later at the age of 93. She knew she couldn't fall down on television, friends said. She is survived by three sons, six grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Earle E. Liederman – 2018 NFHOF Inductee
Earle E. Liederman (1886-1970) began his career as a vaudeville strongman and in the mid-1920s. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from high school in Jamaica, New York and pursued a degree in physical education. He was hired by the New York Board of Education as a physical culture specialist.
In 1910 he quit his job and embarked on a career as a professional athlete. For eight years, Liederman toured the circuit demonstrating his skills in lifting, acrobatics, and physique display. His theatrical stint developed his showmanship and confidence. He then published his exercise regimen and sold it through the mail along with his book, Muscular Development.
Liederman's charmed life and glorious prosperity came to a crashing halt when the stock market took a dive in 1929. By the early 1930s he had lost everything but no matter what kind of adversity struck him, Earle always managed to land on his feet. He became the editor of Joe Weider’s Muscle Power magazine in 1945 and remained there for 20+ years.
W.T. Rawleigh – 2018 NFHOF Inductee
W.T. Rawleigh (1870-1952) was the most famous producer of health products in late 19th century America. In 1889, at the age of 18, Rawleigh set out from his boyhood home in Wisconsin and started selling his products from a horse-drawn buggy. He sold his homemade salve and lotions to the hardworking pioneers of the time. Rawleigh recalls, “I was as green as a cucumber and the only business experience I had was in making inks and selling a few books.” Rawleigh was determined to spread the idea of good health and by 1914, W.T. Rawleigh Company was recognized as one of the greatest manufacturers and distributors of over 100 health and household products.
"Fitness Legends Honored at this year’s National Fitness Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony!”
Press Release: April 29, 2018 – Addison, Illinois
This year’s induction ceremony was special because we at the National Fitness Hall of Fame paid our respect and admirations to four deserving individuals who are no longer with us. These “Fitness Legends” needed to be recognized by “The Hall” as early pioneers of fitness who had a marked impact on the fitness industry today and inspired those who work and prosper in the field today. Bill Bowerman, Paige Palmer, Earle E. Liederman and W.T. Rawleigh are these terrific people. Bowerman launched the Jogging Craze of the 60s & 70s, Paige was the 1st television fitness host in 1948, Liederman was a multi-faceted fitness fanatic and Rawleigh built a heath & fitness empire that still operates today. (Check our their complete bios – pgs. 8-10) The fantastic crowd on hand was also there to congratulate Donna Fatigato as “The Hall’s” current “Volunteer of the Year.” Going back to 2008, the NFHOF’s “Volunteer of the Year” has been hand picked by founder, John Figarelli as the individual who has provided the greatest help to “The Hall” (continued).
Over the past two years. Donna has been is instrumental in helping “The Hall” with its online presence and Social Media promotions. Owner of YOUnique LIFElong FITness, Donna has been in the fitness industry for 36 years as a Certified Personal Trainer, Holistic Nutrition Coach and Group Fitness Instructor. Another exciting aspect of this year’s Induction Ceremony was the “Fitness For All” interactive exhibits on display. Most everyone present partook in the fun challenges and learned much about the importance of “Getting Fit & Staying Healthy.” The final presentations were made to the Active Inductees who were present. 2009 NFHOF Inductees, Nancy and Dr. Phil Claussen and 2010 NFHOF Inductee, Esther Gutiérrez Sloan received specially produced digital oil Hall of Fame portraits for supporting “The Hall” and all of its programs. We would like to thank the Figarelli family and all of the volunteers for helping make this ceremony a truly special event!
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