2006 NFHOF Inductee
“Healthy American Fitness Leader”
|For over 60 years Ben Weider served as the president of the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) retiring in 2007. He and his brother, Joe Weider, founded the IFBB in 1946 in order to unify the sport of bodybuilding throughout the world. Among its many activities, the IFBB provides research to national Olympic committees, international sports federations, and the International Federation of Sports Medicine.
On August 29th 1960 Ben married Huguette. Together they have three sons; Louis, Eric and Mark. On September 14, 2004, Ben was awarded the Medal of Honour of the Quebec National Assembly. Said of Ben, "It is an honor to receive this award and be recognized among so many hard working and charitable Canadians," said Weider. "I sincerely thank the members of the Order of St. John for this distinction and look forward to continuing my association with them for many years to come."
|Ben Weider - Twenty Five Years of Corresponding
By William E. Moore
When I first became interested in bodybuilding, little did I know that one day I would meet and become friends with the most powerful man in the sport. I can easily recollect the first time I met Ben Weider. It was backstage at the 1981 Mr. Olympia Competition in Columbus, Ohio. When I introduced myself, he greeted me with a smile and a firm handshake. From that instant on, we corresponded regularly for more than twenty-five years, and I have almost two hundred signed letters from him in my collection to substantiate it.
Furthermore, he never failed to send me a personally signed Christmas card each year. He knew I followed the sport strongly, and he kept me updated by sending me various IFBB Reports monthly for many years. Even more so, on more than one occasion, he made sure I got a good quality seat at the Olympia. Mr. Weider would always surprise me by sending me something in the mail. He was just that thoughtful and generous. I will never forget receiving those bulky, white envelopes with that prominent IFBB logo. One of Mr. Weider's passions was getting Olympic recognition for the sport of bodybuilding. He came so close. I remember a phone conversation with him back in the Spring of 1996. He told me he was going to send me some material regarding the topic. A few weeks later, I received a package from him containing several documents, the same material he sent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the world press. And these were limited editions, numbered and signed.
In November of 2006, he kindly sent me a DVD. Portions of the letter reads, "This is my resignation address to the Federation delegates, which was played at the International Congress. I hope you like it, and please let me have your opinion." He never failed to answer any of my letters which shows how he took the time from his busy agenda to keep in touch with me. He always showed me great respect. If I walked up to him at an Olympia dinner banquet, he would introduce me to the person he was talking to. People would surround him and ask for autographs and pose for pictures with him.
I talked to him on three different occasions at the 2006 Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas. First, at the Meet The Olympians Event and the Expo, where he, Joe and Betty signed my copy of their book Brothers of Iron. Ben wrote: "To Bill, With friendship and respect, Ben Weider." That was the first time he ever called me Bill. And finally, at the Olympia Banquet dinner. He was his usual self, kind and considerate. Little did I realize, sadly, it would be the last time I would ever see him.
In 1989, Mr. Weider awarded me with a special, engraved medal (the IFBB President's Silver Medal) for my support of the Weider lifestyle of bodybuilding and fitness in the USA and amongst all peoples of the world, regardless of race, religion or culture. This honor was totally unexpected and it shows how thoughtful and bighearted he was. He always showed me great respect. These are some of my personal memories regarding the Ben Weider I knew.