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Lebow Lebow
Lebow
Bill Bowerman
Fred Lebow
Lebow served as director of the New York City Marathon every year since its inception in 1970 through 1993.
Lebow


Many in the running world credit Fred Lebow with helping to raise distance running to its current status as one of the world’s most widely respected sports that is frequently participated in world-wide.

Born in Transylvania, Romania, on June 6, 1932, Lebow was not only an avid runner, but a racing pioneer. He founded many major road races, including the Fifth Avenue Mile, the Empire State Building Run-Up, and the Women's Mini Marathon. He is perhaps best known for founding and directing the world-renowned New York City Marathon. Lebow served as director of the New York City Marathon every year since its inception in 1970 through 1993. He transformed the marathon from a local event in Central Park with 55 finishers to the world’s largest marathon with over 25,000 finishers running through all five boroughs of New York City.

Lebow was the president of the New York Road Runners Club (NYRR) for 20 years, growing the group from 270 members initially to 31,000 - making NYRR the world’s largest organization of its kind. He was promoted to chairman of the group in 1993, and heralded as the trailblazer for running groups nationally.

In early 1990, Lebow was diagnosed with brain cancer, and two years later, he ran his first five-borough marathon in celebration of his 60th birthday. Lebow died of brain cancer October 9, 1994. Throughout his career, Lebow completed a total of 69 marathons in over 30 countries.


 

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