Saturday, July 9, 2011

Vera Christensen R.I.P.

Many of you who are about 55 or older will remember Vera Christensen, whose "To the Ladies" column began in S&H in May, 1956 and had a very long run of nearly 30 years until the magazine finally phased out. You younger readers have likely never heard of her, so here is your chance to get a little education. She passed away on June 30, 2011 at the age of 80, with her death due to melanoma. Her former husband, Al (they divorced in 1977), appeared on at least one S&H cover with her. (below) He died in 2009.

For those of you of the younger generation, it is hard to believe, but women training with weights is a relatively new development. Vera Christensen was one of the pioneers who lifted long before it was even considered safe, let alone fashionable, for women to exercise and be physical. I have to admit to having had a teenage crush seeing her columns in Strength and Health magazine. So many things have changed for the better since then. Training for women is no longer something considered strange or dangerous and we are all better for it.

Vera pictured with Bill Pearl.


  1. I'm 63 now. I had a terrific crush on her also.
    She was a pioneer in a very very man dominated sport. I've met many other guys in the past 45 yrs who feel the same. Miss her much.

  2. as the first comment I to had a crush on Vera - sad when they live the game & we do not connect with them again - hope her life was rich with love & family

  3. Vera was the emodiment of beauty. As a subscriber in the late 1950's, I always enjoyed her column in Strength & Health. She was a true pioneer for women's health and fitness.