Followers of the fitness and publishing industries alike are mourning over the loss of influential figure Robert Kennedy. At the age of 73, Kennedy passed away on April 12 due to complications stemming from skin cancer.
What started with a magazine put together at his kitchen table (the first issue of which had a 110,000-copy order without any means of distribution) has turned into a successful career of promoting heathy living through magazines, books, and for period of time, a string of 26 fitness stores and a fitness clothing line.
Robert Kennedy (1938 - 2012)
In March 2012, Kennedy was honored by longtime friend Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Arnold Classic, where he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for all his work in the bodybuilding world.
Kennedy's Canadian-based publishing operation was remarkable for its success in the United States, the source of the vast majority of subscribers. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), he kept a low profile on the Canadian industry scene.
On the RKP website a memorial page has been set up. Within six hours, there were over 3,000 comments offering condolences. Here's just a sample of what some had to say.
Kimberly Castle: "It is so sad to hear of this great loss to the Fitness World. Robert and Oxygen Magazine were instrumental in my launch into fitness and allowing me to grace the cover of the the Fat Loss issue in 2007. I will forever be grateful. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. RIP"
Susie Montag: "I feel like a close friend has passed. RIP "Tough Love" Robert Kennedy. I hope you know how much you impacted the life of this middle-aged single Mom and your words and publications encouraged me to better myself and be all I can be."
Diane McCabe Smith: "Your legacy will be a hard act to follow far less rivalled. I'm not sure what this industry will do without you since you WERE the industry. I'm proud to say I knew you, met you and worked for you. Many blessings to you, your beautiful wife and your doting family."