People Who Kick Buts: Fred Lebow
Few things in life match the thrill of a marathon.
- Born June 3, 1932 and passed away on October 9, 1994.
- Born in Arad, Romania, he presided over the transformation of the race from one with 55 finishers in 1970 to one of the largest marathons in the world with over 43,660 finishers in 2009.
- He was posthumously inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 2001.
- Lebow ran in the inaugural marathon in 1970, finishing 45th out of 55 runners with a time of 4:12:09. He ran his last NYC Marathon on November 1, 1992 in celebration of his 60th birthday, after being diagnosed with brain cancer in early 1990, with his dear friend, 9-time NYC Marathon women’s winner Grete Waitz, with a time of 5:32:35.
- During his career he completed 69 marathons in 30 countries. Along with the NYC Marathon he also organized the Empire State Building Run Up, the Fifth Avenue Mile, and the Crazy Legs Mini Marathon, the first strictly women’s race. Lebow was also president of the New York Road Runners Club for twenty years.
- His memorial service at the finish line of the New York City Marathon, attracted a crowd of 3,000 mourners, which was, at that time, the largest memorial gathering in Central Park since the death of John Lennon.