Carl Leonard Schwartz (1925-2010) was born and raised in the Hill District, the son of Harry and Jeanette Harris Schwartz. After graduating from Schenley High School, he started in the premed program at the University of Pittsburgh but postponed his studies to spend three years as a Seabee in the Pacific Theater in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Schwartz resumed his studies in 1946, finished medical school in 1952 and trained as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. For the next 40 years, he practiced at various institutions in Pittsburgh, including Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Jewish Home for the Aged. He was also Chief of Psychiatry at Montefiore Hospital.
Leonard Schwartz met Millie Bernstein through a mutual acquaintance when they were both teenagers in the Hill District. Bernstein (c.1927-2002) was a typist for the U. S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Mines before leaving to raise a family. She later ran an interior design studio. They married in 1946 and had two daughters, Debbie and Jodi.
Schwartz began developing “Heavyhands: The Ultimate Exercise System” when he was forty-nine. The exercise regimen involved walking and dancing using patented hand weights. It became a global fitness phenomenon. “Since I was at medical school I have always been interested in physiology — the study of how the body functions,” Schwartz told the Pittsburgh Press in 1982. “Even when I became a specialist in psychiatry I never abandoned this interest. There is a relationship between fitness and psychological health.”
He was inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Western Pennsylvania in 1993.
In addition to his medical practice and his work with Heavy Hands, Schwartz taught himself to play classical guitar and carve stone sculpture. He was an avid photographer and wrote poetry.