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Ont. publisher Robert Kennedy dies of cancer at 73

The man behind the Ontario-based publishing house that produces a slew of popular health books and fitness magazines, including Oxygen, MuscleMag and American Curves, has died.

Robert “Bob” Kennedy, who founded Robert Kennedy Publishing, died of complications from cancer on Thursday at his home in Caledon Hills, Ont., north of Toronto. He was 73.

Kennedy grew up in England and moved to Canada in 1967 to teach art in Brampton, Ont.

His fitness-based business empire had its roots in a 1972 venture when he sold nutrition, bodybuilding and fitness instruction courses through the mail.

He then launched his first magazine — MuscleMag International — in 1974 and started a fitness franchise with stores and a clothing line in the 1990s. He also wrote a number of books including a bestseller called Hardcore Bodybuilding.

He was married to Tosca Reno, who wrote the best-selling “Eat-Clean Diet” series, produced by Kennedy’s publishing house.