A Tribute to Robert Kennedy . . .
"Goodbye my dear husband, friend and mentor. Until I see you again." ~Tosca Reno
Artist, teacher, dreamer, visionary, athlete, writer/author, husband, father, friend, believer...and most of all innovator. An innovator is defined as one "to introduce something new; make changes in anything established, to introduce (something new) for or as if for the first time." That was who Robert "Bob" Kennedy was...an innovator. He took a passion and personal interest out into the world for everyone to notice, join and become a part of. He lived what he preached and devoted his life to making this become a business and industry that brought on the success of many great athletes and talent today.
In 1974, with no previous experience in publishing, Kennedy began a career in publication creating the Ontario-based publishing house Robert Kennedy Publishing - RKP, that produces a slew of popular health books and fitness magazines, including Oxygen and MuscleMag. Thirty-five years later, he proved that his work and his spirit would be kept alive in the magazines and books he launched. The staff from the Mississauga site of MuscleMag stated that, “Bob leaves behind a legacy as a pioneer in the field of bodybuilding and physical wellness,” and “His love and devotion will be sorely missed.”
Sadly, on April 12, 2012, surrounded by family and friends, Robert "Bob" Kennedy, the man behind the term "Hardcore Bodybuilding", died of complications from his short but hard fought battle with lung cancer at his home in Caledon Hills, Ont., north of Toronto. He was 73.
This past March, at the Arnold Classic, Robert Kennedy was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his 38 year career for promoting the sport of bodybuilding and his dedication to health and fitness worldwide by long time friend and Governor Arnold Schwazenegger. This moment in time, will be one that many fans, friends and athletes alike will hold close to their hearts, as these two men, were not only legends in their own disciplines of the industry, but true, lifelong friends. A week prior to his death, Arnold paid him a surprise visit on Easter Sunday. According to Kennedy's wife, "the pair reminisced about old times and even flexed their muscles"... "It was difficult not to shed tears as Arnold gently held Robert's hand and began a conversation that would bring a sparkle back into my husband's blue eyes and cement their friendship forever,” Reno wrote on her blog. “It did my heart good to see this exchange. Arnold made good on his promise to visit his old friend, something I am ever grateful for and will never forget.”
The impact of this visit and Kennedy's passing also affected Schwarzenegger in a deep and heartbreaking way. Arnold took to Twitter on Friday to mourn Kennedy's loss, and shared these heartfelt thoughts, “My thoughts are with family & friends of Bob Kennedy. There is no question that his legacy of a fitter and healthier world will live on.”
With his passing, it has been asked by his wife and fellow fitness enthusiast, Tosca Reno, that each and every one of us keep the dream that Kennedy had for health, fitness and this industry, alive in all we do and carry out on a day-to-day basis. It is evident that Bob and Tosca had not only a deep love and commitment to this industry, but for each other, “He showed me how to live my life as one filled with possibilities. Through him I became what I am today, a story that is familiar to many others who have been touched by Bob’s generous, warm and colourful spirit,”... “What Robert gave me will fill me for my lifetime. To walk this path without him is by far the biggest weight I have lifted yet though Robert trained me well. Robert Kennedy was the true love of my life. I am blessed to have been with him and to know such love is rare. He showed me how to live my life as one filled with possibilities. The grace will come from seeing all the miracles we have planted together bear fruit. Robert would have loved that."
May each of us continue to live out Robert "Bob" Kennedy's life's work, and Tosca Reno's wish of keeping this industry alive and continuing to educate and motivate all who we encounter, work with, and inspire.
By: Tina Goinarov