January 24, 2018
Sadly I have just learned that Julian Schmidt, legendary writer who wrote for FLEX and Muscle & Fitness from about 1987 through to mid 2000s, passed at the age of 78 on July 11, 2015. It’s a bit of a mystery of how this information never made it into bodybuilding circles at the time, because Julian was a major figure on the bodybuilding landscape for many years.
He was a one-off, a man of great character who got along with everyone and was a very gifted wordsmith. His vocabulary was the most extensive of anyone I’ve ever known. Many people thought Julian slaved over a Thesaurus to come up with the most esoteric of words. Words like desideratum, which means “something needed and desired”. In fact he carried his vocabulary in his head, he didn’t have to look up any of those words. I had many conversations with him when those words would come tumbling out. I have never met anyone who had a grasp of the English language and grammar like Julian did. With words that you thought were similar and could be interchanged like “Easy” and “Effortless” he could tell you in minute detail how they were different and when to individually use them.
He trained religiously and was always in good shape. The distinctiveness of his writing matched the distinctiveness of his appearance. In public he always wore a ten-gallon hat (which matched his ten gallon words) and cowboy type jeans, giving him look of a latter day Marlboro Man.
I worked with Julian for well over a decade and he was a fine man, always supportive of the aims of the Weider magazines and a good team player. You made your mark on the world Julian and lived a good life. RIP my friend.
JULIAN’S OFFICIAL OBITUARY
Julian Gustav Schmidt, age 78, of Treynor, Iowa, passed away on July 9, 2015, at Jennie Edmundson Hospital. Julian was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa on March 4, 1937, to the late Hans F. Schmidt and Louisa A. Guttau, both of Treynor.
He graduated from Iowa State University in 1961 with his technical journalism degree and soon after moved to San Francisco to pursue his long career in award-winning engineering and medical writing. He called California home for more than 40 years, writing and editing for many national and international automotive, car and fitness magazines, later launching two of his own, one of which was in Omaha, in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Revered by his colleagues as the “Human Thesaurus” due to his knack for affluent vocabulary, he was published in Collier’s Encyclopedia, and most recently finished a book on the history of the Treynor State Bank, where his father worked and served as vice president for 77 years. An avid world traveler, Julian spent much of his career touching down on nearly every continent, being fortunate enough to experience the world in ways of which most people from a small town couldn’t dream. His other pastimes were spent driving his cherished Porsche 911 Carrera along the coast of California, weight lifting, reading car magazines, watching Fox News, and enjoying Ted & Wally’s ice cream in Omaha, where they named two flavors after his own concoctions, “Julian’s Spotted Pony” and “The Schmidty”.
Julian was preceded in death by his parents and his younger sister, Sonja Tysseling. He is survived by his older brother, Berlie Schmidt; his younger sister, Cynthia Schmidt; his daughter, Sena Schmidt (Douglas Eicher); and his soon-to-be grandson.