Dan Lurie passed away this weekend, at 90.
As a competitor in the '40s, he was runner-up in 3 Mr. Americas, but he won the "most muscular" award at each of those shows. He was partners with Joe Weider at the very start of Weider's magazine and barbell-selling businesses. Lurie even helped promote and organize some of the first contests run under the IFBB name. After a falling out, Lurie kept selling his own barbells/weights and started Muscle Training Illustrated magazine.
He also went on to start the WBBG (World Bodybuilding Guild) and ran his own Mr. America, Mr. World, and Mr. International contests, plus a few Mr. OIympus shows as well. Back then, there was even more "politics" at play in deciding who won, or even competed, in contests, but winners of his shows included Boyer Coe, Serge Nubret, Chris Dickerson, and Sergio Oliva. He also spent several years training a young Lou Ferrigno. They were both from Brooklyn and Lurie referred to him as "like another son."
Lurie is probably a lesser-known name today, but he was right there at the start of what bodybuilding is today, with his hands in the first popular training magazines and bodybuilding shows. So he deserves recognition.
Seemed like a really great and genuine guy. Maybe business didn't always go his way, but he seemed happy helping people and building his family - married 65 years, five kids, 15 grandkids, and 10 great-grandkids. I'm extra-upset because apparently he lived not more than a half-hour from me and I never knew it.