Charles M. Leighton, the founder of the company responsible for making NordicTrack one of the most iconic and revolutionary lines of exercise equipment, has passed away. The NordicTrack line started with a single piece of at-home exercise equipment, a cross-country ski simulator, in 1975. Leighton's company, CML Group, acquired the equipment brand in the late 1980s and expanded the NordicTrack line to include treadmills, leg machines, cross-trainers, elliptical-style machines and more.

The NordicTrack line became one of the most recognized in fitness and has inspired some of today's most popular pieces of equipment from brands like Cybex, Precor and Technogym.

CML Group declared bankruptcy in the late 1990s. The NordicTrack brand was purchased by Logan, Utah-based Icon Health & Fitness.

Emily Attwood is Managing Editor of Athletic Business.