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
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.