Fitness Publishing Icon Robert “Bob” Kennedy Dies at 73.
Robert “Bob” Kennedy founder of RKP/Robert Kennedy Publishing, which includes the magazine brands MuscleMag International, Reps!, Oxygen, American Curves and Clean Eating as well as hundreds of books (he personally wrote over 55 of them and was a New York Times Best-seller for Hardcore Bodybuilding, Reps!, RockHard!, Beef It!, and Pumping Up!) lost his heroic battle with cancer late last night at his home in the Caledon Hills, north of Toronto, Ontario.
Bob was surrounded by his beloved wife Tosca Reno and his four daughters, Chelsea Kennedy (19), Rachel Corradetti (27), Kiersten Corradetti (24), and Kelsey-Lynn Corradetti (20). Bob’s only son Braden Robert James Kennedy passed away last March at the tender age of 23.
Bob’s longtime friend Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger paid him a surprise visit on Easter Sunday. Bob and Arnold spent hours reminiscing about old times and the two legends even flexed! Bob’s wife, Tosca Reno shared, “It was nice to see the sparkle in Bob’s blue eyes again.” Arnold stated, “Bob was a great friend and a true fitness icon. He spread the gospel of health around the globe, and his impact can’t be measured. I will miss Bob, but there is no question that his legacy of a fitter and healthier world will live on.”
Bob Kennedy was born in 1938, the son of an Austrian father and an English mother, both school teachers. He attended Culford private school and Norwich Art School in Norfolk, England. After living in London and teaching art at the Tottenham Technical College for eight years, Kennedy moved to Canada in 1967, where he taught art for five years in Brampton, Ontario. During those times, a period during which he won numerous fine art competitions, friends remember that Bob loved doing handstands so much that he used to walk more on his hands than his feet. His passion was art and his artist alias was “Wolfgang Kals.” He painted hundreds of beautiful masterpieces with a focus on color, form and expression of how he viewed the world. J Paul Getty was a big fan and personal friend. Bob cared for him during his ailing years.
In 1972 Bob went into business for himself, selling courses of instruction by mail on nutrition, bodybuilding and fitness. In 1974 he started his first magazine, MuscleMag International, with an initial print run of 110,000 copies. Thirty-five years later, the magazine continues publishing. Bob was an avid and accomplished photographer who discovered many fitness models/WWE stars/bodybuilding personalities/health and fitness experts and celebrities, including, among others, Tosca Reno, Torrie Wilson, Trish Stratus, Vicky Pratt, Cory Everson, Roland Kickinger and Ronnie Coleman. Bob was also known in the bodybuilding world for coining the term "Hardcore Bodybuilding" after publishing the book under the same name and for creating the training concept referred to as The Pre-Exhaust Principle, which is known and used by most bodybuilders and weight trainees around the world.
In the 1990s, Kennedy opened 26 fitness stores and franchises and created a fitness clothing line; all were eventually sold to concentrate on the core business of magazines and book publishing. His publishing business has produced hundreds of books including “Live Young Forever,” the last book by the late Godfather of fitness, Jack LaLanne, and the NY Times Best-selling “The Eat-Clean Diet” series, written by his wife Tosca Reno.
Bob’s devoted wife Tosca describes Bob as “the greatest love and joy of my life. He was to me like sunshine to seeds – the life force I needed to discover myself. He was the finest man. His joy for life filled me. I love you, Robert.”
Robert “Bob” Kennedy’s life’s work, dedication and impact on bodybuilding, health and fitness have been a source of inspiration to tens of millions of people and his wife Tosca Reno shall continue his legacy.