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Robert Kennedy, 1938-2012: health and lifestyle publisher

Robert Kennedy, founder of Robert Kennedy Publishing, has died. The 73-year-old, who dedicated his life to inspiring readers to be “the best that they can be” through his line of health and fitness publications, passed away at his home in Caledon Hills, Ontario, due to complications from skin cancer.

Born in 1938 to schoolteacher parents, Kennedy spent his early life in Norfolk, England, fascinated by weight training, bodybuilding, and muscle magazines. In 1967, he moved to Brampton, Ontario, where he taught art and English before plunking down nearly $500 in savings to launch his first periodical, MuscleMag International.

Kennedy went on to write 53 books, develop a fitness store franchise and clothing line, and build one of Canada’s premier publishing houses for diet and fitness titles. Among RKP’s most successful offerings are Oxygen magazine, Reps!, Clean Eating, and the best-selling Eat Clean book series by Tosca Reno (who is also Kennedy’s wife).

Staff at RKP’s Mississauga, Ontario, office have posted a statement about Kennedy’s death. From the obituary:

A tireless worker, [Robert] maintained regular hours in the office (and the gym) into his 70s. Bob could often be found at the light table going over magazine pages, or snapping photos down in the studio. Always a hands-on boss he penned the publisher’s page for every magazine in his chain and trained his keen visual eye on each page of every publication; Bob made sure to put his personal stamp on every issue.