Bodybuilder Joe Gold, founder of Gold's Gym, died on Sunday, July 11, 2004, at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 82. Gold, a Los Angeles native, founded his first gym in 1965 in the Venice area, but sold the gym in 1970 and returned to the merchant marine, which he had joined after serving in the Navy in World War II. Under new owners, Gold's Gym became a huge franchise operation. Before becoming an actor and politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger's appearance in the 1977 movie Pumping Iron helped make Gold's Gym a destination for bodybuilders. Gold himself returned to the gym business in 1977 when he established World Gym. In a statement, Schwarzenegger, now California's governor, called Gold "a trusted friend and father figure." In this 2002 photo, Gold is flanked by Mike Uretz, left, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, right.
AP/John Balik, file