Essay on Fred Lebow Founder of the NYC Marathon

Essay on Fred Lebow Founder of the NYC Marathon

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How was the NYC Marathon conceived, and why does it give the Big Apple its happiest, most unifying day of the year?

Fred Lebow was a showman. He liked action. He liked attention. Originally born Fishl

Lebowtiz on June 6, 1932 in Transylvania, Romania he did something that was beyond belief.

He is the father of the world's greatest foot race, The New York City Marathon. Lebow

transformed the marathon from a small race with 55 finishers in 1970 to one of the largest

marathons in the world with over 30.000 finishers today. Lebow proved to the world that

ordinary people can run in a marathon. Lebow survived the Holocaust after the German army

arrived late in the war in his Transylvanian town near the Hungarian Border. Lebow migrated to

America, studied at the Yeshiva Torah in Brooklyn, and opened an improvisational theater in


Upon his return to the Big Apple, Lebow organized the first New York City Marathon in

1970. His "Jewishness" definitely contributed to his lifelong goal of "inclusiveness."Long

before he emerged as the master promoter, the only sport Lebow played was tennis. Most of his

tennis matches were against his roommate, Brian Crawford. Never being able to win a match

against him Lebow joined a health club. Being bored of lifting weights, Lebow was told that he

should start jogging and was a recommendation was around the 1.577-mile oval track of Central

Park, reservoir. Enamored of running, he became a regular in going the distance around the


With an " Whatever I want, I get" attitude, Lebow directed the Cherry Tree Marathon, which is

also considered the mother of The New York City Marathon. The race started at the Yankee


... middle of paper ...

...onality turned his idea into a world-class event. Even the pope congratulated him on this

marvelous event, and he gave the pope some shirts.

As the founding father of The New York City Marathon, Lebow contributed to the

marathon with everything he possessed. From surviving the Holocaust, to smuggling diamonds

in Holland, Lebow knew there was something great in him and he always wanted to share his

ideas to the people. Never taking No for an answer, and always striving for more made Lebow

one of the world's greatest icons. He was inducted in the Runners Hall of Fame and his statue

checking his watch as the runners cross the finish line in Central Park, tells us that nothing is

impossible and that we should always strive and climb for more. What Lebow accomplished was

beyond belief, and he will always be remembered in our memories.

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