So you’re 88 now Joe. You must have seen some pretty amazing things in your day. What is the most amazing to you?
I guess I have seen a few amazing things in my day, but I still think the one that tops the list for me is the rise of bodybuilding from an obscure underground activity to something widely recognized by the mainstream.
When I first got into the publishing business back in 1940 a guy named Bob Hoffman had the biggest weightlifting magazine in the world – Strength & Health. I say weightlifting because Bob didn’t care much for bodybuilding, limiting its coverage to just a few pages.
When I started Your Physique in my parents’ house and with just $7 to invest into it my mother and others thought I was nuts. How could I compete with Hoffman’s empire? Anyway, bodybuilding had such a bad stigma at the time it seemed to many a magazine covering it could never succeed.
But with perseverance and the help of my dear departed brother Ben I did succeed. It took a number of years, of course, but in time both my magazines (I’ve had many over the years) and the sport of bodybuilding grew into widespread acceptance. Once my protégé Arnold Schwarzenegger began to exert his mighty force for the cause bodybuilding exploded in popularity. It is now a multi-billion dollar industry and has positively affected many millions of lives. To me, that’s a pretty amazing thing indeed.