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Dr. Ken Leistner Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Ken Leistner Memorial Scholarship

In honor of the late Kenneth Evan Leistner, DC (’80), world-renowned chiropractor and strength and fitness coach—“Dr. Ken” to those who knew him—Logan University has established the Dr. Ken Leistner Memorial Scholarship, which will award $1,000 to one strength and conditioning student every trimester. This is an endowed scholarship, meaning the donation is properly invested, earning yearly interest, and the interest is used to fund the scholarship. The principal amount itself will not be spent, which allows the scholarship to be available for future generations of strength and conditioning students.

Dr. Kenneth “Dr. Ken” Evan Leistner

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Logos for Logan University Leaders Made and Missouri Baptist University Shine On
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Kenneth Evan Leistner, DC (’80)—“Dr. Ken” to those who knew him—was a world-renowned chiropractor and strength and fitness coach. Over five decades, he pioneered a unique brand of high-intensity training, worked and consulted with celebrities and professional athletes, and was a prolific writer and expert in multiple fields. His techniques and philosophy are followed by members of the powerlifting and fitness community to this day.

Dr. Ken was born and raised in Brooklyn and Long Beach, New York. After graduating high school, he played football for the Westchester Bulls, the New York Giants farm team, and the University of Cincinnati. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science in Education from Hofstra University and obtained his Doctor of Chiropractic from Logan University. Dr. Ken began his career as a special education teacher and football coach at Malverne High School, where in 1990 he led the team to an undefeated record, the Nassau County Conference IV championship, and the Rutgers Cup. He opened a chiropractic office in Manhattan where his celebrity clients included the likes of Regis Philbin and Frank Zappa. He also worked for Nautilus founder Arthur Jones.

Dr. Ken wrote hundreds of articles for various powerlifting and strength training publications. Through his writing, he connected with thousands of people, some of whom became lifelong friends and colleagues. He founded Iron Island Gym in Oceanside, New York, in 1992, which he then sold six years later to work privately out of his home. He continued to write articles and collaborate on historical helmet and strength training research as well as serve on the advisory board for the Lakeview Youth Federation. He is remembered fondly by the many clients and athletes he trained for his uncompromising work ethic and commitment to bettering himself and others. In 2020, he was posthumously inducted into the New York State Strength and Power Hall of Fame for his success as a powerlifter, high level of character and moral values and efforts to grow strength and power sports.

For questions or more information concerning this scholarship, please contact us

Bryan Stone, MA, CFRE
Senior Director of Development
Bryan.Stone@logan.edu
(636) 230-1849

 

Dana Salony
Advancement Services and Stewardship Manager
Dana.Salony@logan.edu
(636) 230-1877

Share your connections and memories of Dr. Ken Leistner

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  1. There aren’t too many days that pass where I don’t think of Ken and what a loss his passing was. He was a coach, a friend and a brother.

  2. I had been reading Docs articles for years and finally got to meet him when my son and I joined the Iron Island Gym. He took an interest in my son and continued to train him after he closed the gym. He gave a lot to the strength training community.

  3. In the spring of 1986 Dr Ken and his step son ,Kevin Tolbert, gave a strength seminar to The Univ of Pa football team . As the University strength coach I had put in a HIT strength training program several months prior . During his 90 minute presentation Ken demonstrated a proper barbell curl with 135 lbs easily doing half dozen perfect curls while speaking . He then took Kevin through a torturous 20 minute workout and the team was totally on board with HIT . That fall we went 10-0 , players were sold on HIT and Dr Ken and Kevin became legends in the Penn weight room .

  4. I was honored to meet Dr. Ken through Frank Savino from Gridiron Inc. I was able to watch, learn, listen and even partake on occasion of the infamous Friday morning workouts. The way he was able to spread his love and passion of strength and conditioning to others was unequivocal. Having him as one of my mentors is priceless. I take his teachings with me through my military career still. Him and his family were some of the most welcoming people I’ve met. I thank you for all the help you’ve given me in my strength and conditioning journey.

  5. I first met Dr. Ken in the mid 1980’s at one of his famous holiday training blowouts. Little did I know that day how much of a positive influence this man would have on me and countless others who never even met him or had the honor and privilege of calling him a friend. He not only taught people how to strength train. He weaved life lessons into his methods by teaching folks how to work hard to achieve their goals and go beyond what they though was possible. Doc was one of the most generous people I have ever met and went about helping countless others in times of need without fanfare, which is a very admirable trait. He always seemed larger than life to me because of the way he showed me how much of a difference one person can make in this world. He lived his life to the fullest and I am glad to see something like this has been set up to honor the memory of a truly great, kind, and generous man.

  6. Ken was an incredibly wonderful friend to us and we loved him dearly! The example of his life continues to inspire us daily. Ken was so kind and generous to so many. His prolific writing and coaching touched thousands of lives. Even more than that, without recognition or compensation of any kind, he benefited countless young people. Their success in life is a direct tribute to Ken’s influence! It’s wonderful that this scholarship will keep his memory alive for future generations.

  7. I first became aware of Dr. Ken through the the many articles he contributed to various magazines. It wasn’t until I joined Iron Island Gym in the Winter of 1992 that I had the pleasure of meeting him. I’ll always cherish the memories of an outstanding training facility, but more importantly, Dr. Ken is a man for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration. I’m happy that this scholarship will keep his enduring memory alive and continue his legacy.