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The Year was 1953. There was a 19 year old black boy named Leroy Colbert, in all his glory on the cover of Joe Weider's Muscle Power magazine. Now donít sit back relax and say big deal. Let me tell you, this was almost a decade before the civil rights movement in America, it was not only a big deal for the time it was a huge deal. At that time in America you didnít put a black man on the cover of a national magazine unless you were willing to lose money, especially in the south. To my dying day I will never forget the day I was working in the shipping room of the magazines when Joe walked in out of the blue and casually said, "Leroy I am going to put you on the cover of Muscle Power".

I was born under the sign of Taurus - practical, stubborn, and a little bullheaded, and I looked at Joe as if he was crazy. The climate in the country at the time made it not feasible to put me on the cover. It didnít make sense. At that moment I didnít realize who I was dealing with, a special man I have grown to love from the bottom of my heart. Joe and I didnít have a boss employee relationship; he treated me like a friend working together, and I must admit I was never at a loss to speak my mind. "Come on Joe you're kidding me".

"No I am not, you got a great body and you deserve to be on the cover,it's only fair". I was grateful to be working for the magazine. It was an honor just to be around the making of the most exciting magazine in bodybuilding, thatís plenty - I donít need a cover! To me it was so far fetched, it was my mental defense - Why fantasize the improbable?

Joeís magazine at that time was a distant second behind the dominant magazine called Strength and Health, ruled by Bob Hoffman who thought Joe was an arrogant pip squeak for daring to challenge his dominance in Bodybuilding. Joe had a deep love for bodybuilding, and the most important quality Bob didnít have was Joe's decency and fairness. At the time, Hoffman ran all the major bodybuilding contest in the country. And if you wanted to compete with any chance of winning you had to pay homage to Bob. Your physique was secondary. God forbid if you happened to be black you didnít stand a chance of winning any of the major titles. Joe trying to break Bob's hold on the game would make it even tougher to put a black guy on his cover. I was happy Joe brought it up, figuring it was just something he wanted to do, but common sense would stop him. About a week later, Joe asked me if I had a good pair of white posing trunks? I said, "yeah why? There is no contest coming up for a while."

"You are always asking questions. Now listen," Joe admonished, "Lon, our staff photograph is going to take you to the beach - I want a nice color photo of you for my cover."

My heart began to pound, I am saying to myself he can't be going through with this, it's crazy! It just wasnít rational. My nature is to seek rationally, donít bury me with smoke and mirrors. Here I go again figuring Joe just wanted to go through the motions; crunch the numbers and in the end he will come to his senses and can the project. Joe was pushing hard to succeed then, I truly didnít want him to lose any money because of principle. In my mind what price for principle. Joeís advisors told him he would lose money he couldnít afford at this juncture. It didnít do any good. There I was on the cover of the Nov. 1953 Muscle power magazine.

As predicted, Joe lost money on that issue. Can you imagine his answer to muscle power, he later put me on the cover of his Mr. America mag. Joes love of bodybuilding transcends profit.

I cherish friendships. I have a legion of good friends too numerous to mention here, they know who they are. Joe just happens to be the most influential in my life.

The passing of time has deepened my appreciation for this wonderful man.

Joe Weider and his wife Betty Joe Weider and Leroy Colbert

Joe Weider and Leroy Colbert

When I say I will keep my web site updated these 4 pictures of the savior of bodybuilding, Joe Weider, was taken August 23, 2006 and my Webmaster, David, put them up the next day.

The reason is because Joe Weider, the man who made bodybuilding popular and rescued it against all odds to a respected sport, was recovering from an illness so quick and strong it astounded the medical experts.

The fellow's name sitting next to Joe escapes me for the moment, but Joe gives him credit for pushing him in his workouts. Joe says he is "the do one more rep man."

You see that canister of protein I have in my hand, that is Joe's special blend and he so generously gave it to me. Joe said, "Leroy try this for size". What a joy it is to spend time with the man who has guided me and promoted me for over 50 years. I so appreciate Joe's support, I would never do anything to make him regret it.

Joe Weider and Leroy Colbert Joe Weider and Leroy Colbert

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Click Here To buy Leroy Colbert Recommended Nutritional Supplements