Jack LaLanne

Bodybuilder / TV Personality

Born: 26 September 1914
Died: 23 January 2011 (pneumonia)
Birthplace: San Francisco, California
Best known as:

The host of the 1950s fitness show The Jack LaLanne Show

Name at birth: Francois Henri LaLanne

 

Jack LaLanne hosted a nationally-syndicated TV exercise show from 1951 until 1985. The show made him a popular pioneer of vigor in the 1950s, preaching good nutrition and physical fitness long before they were popular in the United States. Impressed by a lecture on nutrition which he heard at age 15, Jack LaLanne eventually opened his own health club in Oakland, California in 1936. He invented what are considered to be the first modern weight machines for exercising. When The Jack LaLanne Show began airing in 1951, it was decades ahead of its time, with LaLanne urging viewers to eat right and work out along with him. Jack LaLanne performed many famous publicity stunts over the years, including doing 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes and, on his 70th birthday, towing 70 rowboats for a mile in Long Island Harbor while swimming handcuffed and shackled. Jack LaLanne slowed somewhat in his eighties, when he was known to a new generation mostly for his TV infomercials for juicers, but he was still always eager to engage on the topic of fitness. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002. Jack LaLanne died of respiratory failure (following pneumonia) in 2011, when he was 96 years old.

Extra credit:

Jack LaLanne was 5'6" tall, according to a 2011 report from Reuters... His last name was pronounced "luh-LANE"... "I can't die -- it would ruin my image," LaLanne once quipped... Jack LaLanne married his wife, Elaine, in 1959; they remained married until his death.

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