Professor Steven N. Blair, PED was a Professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Blair is a Fellow in the America College of Epidemiology, Society for Behavioral Medicine, American Collage of Sports Medicine, American Heart Association, and AmericanAcademy of Kinesiology and Physical Education; and was elected to membership in the American Epidemiological Society. He was the first president of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, and is a past-president of the AmericanCollege of Sports Medicine and the AmericanAcademy of Kinesiology and Physical Education.
Dr. Blair is the recipient of three honorary doctoral degrees--Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium; Doctor of Health Science degree from Lander University, U.S.; and Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, University of Bristol, UK. He has received awards from many professional associations, including the Honor Award from the AmericanCollege of Sports Medicine and the Robert Levy Lecture and Population Science Research Awards from the American Heart Association. He also was granted a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health, and is one of the few individuals outside the U.S. Public Health Service to be awarded the Surgeon General's Medallion.
He has delivered lectures to medical, scientific, and lay groups in 48 states and 30 countries. His research focuses on the associations between lifestyle and health, with a specific emphasis on exercise, physical fitness, body composition, and chronic disease. He has published over 425 papers and chapters in the scientific literature, and was the Senior Scientific Editor for the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health.
Dr. Bob Goldman, MD - 2006 NFHOF Inductee
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Dr. Robert M. Goldman (Dr. Bob) has spearheaded the development of numerous international medical organizations and corporations. He is a Fellow of the AmericanAcademy of Sports Physicians and a Board Diplomat in Sports Medicine and Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Bob is a Fellow of the AmericanAcademy of Sports Physicians and a Board Diplomat in Sports Medicine and Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine. He is co-founder and Chairman of the AmericanAcademy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). Dr. Goldman visits an average of 20 countries annually to promote brain research and sports medicine programs.
Dr Goldman served as Special Advisor to the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Chairmanship of the Council. An All-College athlete in four sports, a three time winner of the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Physical Fitness Award and was awarded the Healthy American Fitness Leader Award from the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, Dr. Bob is a black belt in karate, Chinese weapons expert, and world champion athlete with over 20 world strength records, he has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Some of his past performance records include 13,500 consecutive sit-ups and 321 consecutive handstand push-ups. He is the recipient of the 'Gold Medal for Science, the Grand Prize for Medicine, the Humanitarian Award, and the Business Development Award.
Marilu Henner was born on April 6, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois. She won a role on the hit television program Taxi (1978-83) and after the show had a successful run on TV, Marilu entered the realm of health and fitness when she became a bestselling author, having written books such as Total Memory Makeover (2012) and Healthy Life Kitchen (2002).
Marilu has written and co-authored several books, including a book on child rearing, entitled I Refuse to Raise a Brat: Straightforward Advice on Parenting in an Age of Overindulgence (1999), and published two bestselling guides on health and beauty—The 30 Day Total Health Makeover (1999) and Healthy Life in the Kitchen (2000). Outside of her bestselling books, she has also taken her stance on leading a healthy lifestyle to both the government and the classroom.
In 2010, Henner presented Congress with a dietary plan for children as part of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 2010. She has also spoken at various schools and organizations, encouraging others to speak out to the government against unhealthy living and eating habits. After the release of Total Health Makeover, Henner went on a book tour and appeared on several talk shows, including The View and Good Morning America, to further promote her healthy lifestyle lessons.
Robert Kennedy - 2006 NFHOF Inductee
Born: May 18, 1938 – Died: April 12, 2012
Hometown: Caledon Hills, Ontario - Canada
Bob was the founder of Robert Kennedy Publishing, based in Mississauga, Ontario. He was son of an Austrian father and an English mother, William and Doris Kennedy, both school teachers. He attended CulfordSchool and NorwichUniversityCollege of the Arts in Norfolk, England. After living in London and teaching art at the TottenhamTechnicalCollege for eight years, Kennedy moved to Canada in 1967, where he taught art for five years in Brampton, Ontario.
In 1972 Kennedy 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. In addition to MuscleMag International, Kennedy has also written 53 books, including several New York Times bestsellers; Hardcore Bodybuilding, Reps!, RockHard!, Beef It!, and Pumping Up! He eventually decided to become a book publisher himself, and under Robert Kennedy Publishing, the company has published hundreds of books.
In 1976, Kennedy opened a chain of fitness stores called MuscleMag International, the first of which opened in downtown Toronto on Yonge Street. Kennedy soon followed with stores in Miami, New York, Las Vegas, and in the state of California, eventually reaching 28 stores. He also created a fitness clothing line and supplement line. Most of the stores were eventually closed, while the clothing and supplement line was sold or discontinued to concentrate on the core business of book and magazine publishing.
In 1997 Kennedy started Oxygen magazine, which targets a female fitness demographic. By 2008 the publication reached a circulation of over 200,000. Kennedy was also an avid photographer, known to travel yearly to Santa Monica to shoot the bodybuilding greats.
Tony Little - 2006 NFHOF Inductee
2020 "Lifetime Achievement Award" Recipient
Nickname: “Mr. You Can Do It”
Creator of the “Modern-Day” Personal Training Industry
“The 1st to bring Personal Training to the Masses”
Tony Little is an American television fitness personality and businessman, best known for his fitness infomercial products. Little is a certified personal trainer and identifies himself as “America’s Personal Trainer”. He is known for his over-the-top, enthusiastic personality and long blonde ponytail. Four of Little’s favorite catchphrases are “You can do it,” “It’s technique!” “Always believe in yourself” and “Conceive, Believe and Achieve”. Little’s infomercials have generated more than $4 billion in sales globally. Little averages about 6,000 hours a year on TV.
Tony is a former Mr. Florida and Mr. Junior America bodybuilding champion. In 1983, while training for the NPC USA Championships, he was involved in a car accident and suffered numerous physical injuries. He had two herniated discs, along with a knee dislocation and a cracked vertebra; in addition, he was lacerated in several places. He recovered enough to compete in the event and finished fifth place as a middleweight competitor.
During his recovery, Tony began developing exercise programs and became successful in the fitness industry. His book, “One on One with Tony Little: The Complete 28-Day Body Sculpting And Weight Loss Program” has sold thousands of copies. His fitness videos have won 14 Platinum Awards, 9 gold video awards, and over 47 million customers. His products are sold by retailers worldwide. His most notable product is the “Gazelle.
Today, Tony is still breaking records as he continues to bring the fitness world new ways to get off the couch and get back in shape. His current accolades include 14 Platinum Video Awards, 9 Gold Video Awards, Record-Breaking infomercials throughout eighty-one countries. More than 45,000,000 people worldwide have benefited from his exercise programs. Without a doubt, Tony knows the formula for success. His life has been a painful one at times, but his attitude on overcoming obstacles is simple, “Conceive, Believe and Achieve™”
Gin Miller is one of the industry's top professionals, with over 20 years teaching experience, and has spent the last 2 decades sharing her expertise and love of fitness with thousands of people at workshops and conventions world-wide. Known as the creative force behind the step revolution, she constantly strives to develop new concepts in fitness.
Gin grew up with a love for all sports and was a competitive gymnast throughout college. Shortly thereafter, she began teaching children's gymnastics, which in turn led to aerobics for the Mom's. In the early 80's she began strength training and discovered body-building, still in its early stages for women, and won several competitions. High impact aerobics and intense strength training eventually led to a knee injury. In consulting with an orthopedic doctor, it was recommended that she strengthen the muscles that support the knee by stepping up and down on a milk crate.
Gin lives in Canton, Georgia and has turned her talent and energy into developing her production company, Gin Miller Productions. Gin enjoys outdoor sports of all kinds, including mountain biking and snowboarding, and has a true passion and talent for home decorating.
Bonnie was one the first fitness experts to be called on by the President to get our nation’s kids back in shape.
Who knows how many, millions upon millions of “shuttle-runs,” “push-up” and “sit-ups” were done because of her pioneering efforts in developing sound fitness programs for our schools. Her life’s work has benefited both children and adults of our great nation!
In 1955, Bonnie received a personal invitation from then Vice President Nixon which read: “Dear Miss Prudden, The President (Eisenhower) has asked me to serve as Chairman of the Conference on Fitness of American Youth which he as called for September 27 and 28 (1955) at Lowry Air Fore Base in Denver, Colorado…I shall look forward to the opportunity of seeing you upon your arrival in Denver. I am sure that the distinguished group of 125 national leaders who will participate in the Conference will be able to make some significant and helpful recommendations to the President as how we can improve the standards of health, recreation and physical fitness for America’s youth….With every good wish, Sincerely, Richard Nixon.”
Following that meeting, Shane MacCarthy, Executive Director of the President’s Council on Youth Fitness wrote, “The positive tone of the discussion, in which the specific suggestions offered by you played an important part, will enable the Council to present some very concrete ideas as guides upon which organizations and communities may build their own programs to stimulate healthy and wholesome habits of physical activities.”
Bonnie authored 16 books on physical fitness and Myotherapy for all ages and abilities and produced six exercise albums. She also hosted the first regular exercise spots on national television, had a syndicated television show, and wrote a column for Sports Illustrated. Schools, prisons, summer camps, factories, hospitals, clubs, YMCAs, universities, geriatric homes and facilities for the physically and emotionally challenged all used and benefited from the many physical fitness programs she provided for them. Bonnie also designed the first fitness fashions and developed numerous pieces of exercise equipment. She also developed Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy in 1976. "A method of relaxing muscle spasm, improving circulation, and alleviating pain.
Margaret Richard's Body Electric program first aired on national television in 1984 and her signature body sculpture technique (multiple repetitions with light weights) promises to create toned muscles, denser bones, better balance, and increased vitality.
The ever-expanding Body Electric catalog includes more than 500 Body Electric television programs, 40 videos and DVDs, and Margaret’s recent book, BODY ELECTRIC: Strong, Toned and Sexy in Just Three Hours A Week (McGraw-Hill; 2008).
Margaret’s 1999 testimony before the United States Senate’s “Special Committee on Aging” helped to highlight the importance of exercise to our health. Her Senate appearance also resulted in a video collaboration with the National Institute on Aging as a companion to their book, Exercise: A Guide from the National Institute on Aging.
Margaret’s indoctrination into fitness, dance, and show business came at the age of eight. While studying ballet at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Margaret auditioned for Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II for a part in the musical South Pacific. She was cast as Ngana, the plantation owner’s daughter, and sang Dites-moi Pourquoi. That was in 1956. Margaret Richard hasn’t stopped moving since. While pursuing her passion for fitness, dance, and music into a successful career as a fitness instructor, Margaret was invited to produce a series of 26 shows at WFSU (FloridaStateUniversity), to be uplinked to the PBS satellite, that show is Body Electric.
Donna Richardson - 2006 NFHOF Inductee
Born: November 3, 1962
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Donna is an American fitness and aerobics instructor, author and ESPN television sports commentator. Widely known for her series of fitness videos, she was appointed in 2006 by President George W. Bush to serve on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She also produces and hosts Donna Richardson: Mind, Body, & Spirit, which airs on TV One, and Sweating In The Spirit, which airs on The Word Network. She has served on the Women's Sports Foundation Board of Trustees and is an Advisory Board Member for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
In 1992 she was hired as a co-host of the ESPN Fitness Pros Show and co-starred in her first commercial fitness tape, Platinum Buns of Steel. Certified by AFAA and ACE as an International Fitness Expert, Donna began her fitness career as an aerobics instructor, after responding to a challenge to take an aerobics class. She eventually moved on to teach other instructors. Eventually she began to compete nationally and internationally in aerobics competitions.
In 1992 she was hired as a co-host of the ESPN Fitness Pros Show and co-starred in her first commercial fitness tape, Platinum Buns of Steel.
Donna was selected by The Oprah Winfrey Show as one of the "Top 5 Fitness Video Instructors." She was selected by Fitness magazine as one of their "Top 10 Movers and Shakers." Donna has lectured in 40 countries and has been a featured motivational speaker with several national tours including God's Leading Ladies, Sisters In The Spirit and the Pantene Total You.
Thirty years and 3,000,000 pounds later, Richard Simmons is still going strong. Using his unique wit, passion and enthusiasm, Simmons, the nation’s most revered fitness expert, continues his crusade to reach out to the masses, encouraging them to take control of their fitness destiny. Delivering a serious message with his trademark humor, Simmons has helped millions of overweight men and women lose more than 3,000,000 pounds by adopting sensible balanced eating programs and exercise regimes that are energetic, fun and motivating.
Richard weighed 268 pounds when he graduated high school but took control of his weight by adopting a lifestyle of balance, moderate eating and exercise. Simmons prevailed in his own weight battle before relocating to Los Angeles in 1973. There was no significant fitness movement in this country at the time, and to no avail, Simmons attempted to find a health club that wasn’t for people who were already in shape. After traversing LA, and unable to find a facility welcoming people of all shapes and sizes, his only alternative was to create that safe haven. In 1974, after consulting with doctors and nutritionists to ensure the safety of a program tailored to the needs of everyone, from the overweight and obese, to seniors and the physically challenged, a determined Simmons established an innovative place where the overweight of the world were welcomed with open arms.
This program was met with instant success and continues today at SLIMMONS in Beverly Hills, where Richard still teaches. While many of his legions of fans are overweight, he resonates with everyone, including anyone who has just a few pounds to lose and wants to be fit.
Simmons’ success as a fitness expert and advocate led to numerous local and national television and radio appearances including his own nationally syndicated series, “The Richard Simmons Show”. The show ran for four years and received several Emmy Awards. His 65 fitness videos, which have sold over 20 million copies and he has authored nine books, including the New York Times Best Seller, “Never Say Diet.” Still fighting the fitness battle with humor and enthusiasm, Simmons vows to never give up and promises that he will continue his crusade until it’s time for him to teach classes at the Pearly Gates.
Kathy Smith - 2006 NFHOF Inductee
Born: December 11, 1951
Hometown: Beverly Hills, California
Website: www.Kathy Smith.com
Kathy has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for more than thirty years with a collection of books, videos, audios and DVD’s on walking, cardiovascular health, nutrition, strength training, yoga, Pilates, menopause, dance, and all-things-exercise. As President of Kathy Smith Lifestyles, she has sold over $500 million in lifestyle products and fitness equipment. In addition to her DVD library, Kathy is an accomplished author, with bestselling titles including Feed Muscle Shrink Fat Diet and Moving Through Menopause.
She has also contributed her expertise on health and wellness to countless media outlets, including the LA Times, USA Today, The Today Show, Oprah, The View, Larry King Live, and many more. In 2010, Smith helped develop the Kathy Smith Healthy Living brand exclusively for Ross Dress for Less® stores. This exclusive brand promotes the active living across all fitness levels with the Healthy Living System to guide customers to the correct equipment based on their fitness goals.
Kathy is the spokesperson for the International Council on Active Aging, which unifies organizations dedicated to “changing the way we age” through education, facilities, programs and guidance. And, in the spirit of her personal mission to inspire the best in others. She is a member of the Founders Circle of the Woman’s Sports Foundation, the nonprofit founded by Billie Jean King to empower girls and women through sports and physical activity. Her efforts to inspire young people in Los Angeles to get moving extend to UCLA’s ElementaryLabSchool, where she created and led the first “Jog-A-Thon,” now a major annual event at the school that raises awareness on heart health for students and their families. Kathy works regularly with MarlboroughSchool, where she serves as a Board member and leads regular educational/interactive workshops on exercise and nutrition.
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."
2006 NFHOF Induction Ceremony
A Record Crowd Gathers for the 2006 National Fitness Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
March 19, 2006 - Addison, Illinois
Our first formal induction ceremony was held in conjunction with the “Don of Sports” Awards and hosted at the Oak Meadows Golf Club in Addison, Illinois. 216 people were on-hand to experience the fun-filled event and witness the induction of the 2006 HOF class.
Inductees on hand included: Bonnie Prudden, Tony Little, Gin Miller and Dr. Bob Goldman.It was great to see these legendary fitness experts together for this very special celebration.The respect and admiration that they have foreach other is really great to see.
The Don of Sports Award was created by local celebrity, Don Figarelli and honors those individuals who have dedicated time and service to the community and have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship
The 2006 DOS recipients were Harry Theodore, Donald Ortale, Tom Michaels and Don’s brother Bob Figarelli.
"If you know Professor John Figarelli, you are aware of his passion for education and fitness and have probably heard of the National Fitness Hall of Fame. I recently had the privilege of attending the Induction Ceremony for 2006. The Inductees in attendance included: Tony Little, Bonnie Prudden, Gin Miller, Dr. Bob Goldman and for the ACSM - Dan Henkel.
Bonnie Prudden was instrumental in helping make fitness and physical education a requirement in our public school system. She personally met with President Eisenhower to discuss her research on the fitness levels of American children. The President then decided to set in motion the development of President’s Council on Youth Fitness (now called the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports). I am sure many of us remember, each year, going through fitness testing to see how we qualified on each test during gym class! Having recently graduated with an Associates Degree in Fitness from RobertMorrisCollege, it was quite an honor and an experience to meet the people that help shape and promote a healthy and fit lifestyle for Americans. The one thing that impressed me the most about the fitness personalities being honored was how approachable they were. Everyone was very interested in meeting and talking to us (the students) to discuss our dreams and goals in our new career as fitness specialist. They freely offered advice and encouragement, in many cases giving references and contact information to assist in furthering our careers! I want to thank John for inviting me and my fellow students to this historic event and encourage everyone to get involved with this organization." ~ Scott Martin, Robert Morris College-2006
Don Figarelli Sr. & son John, Founder of the NFHOF
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