Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jack LaLanne, 1914-2011

A man whom I admired from a very young age. When he was on television, as a child, it was a simpler age. Not necessarily better, just simpler.

At Sippican Cottage, "
Muscles Didn't Make Jack LaLanne Mighty."

And at Los Angeles Times, "Jack LaLanne dies at 96; spiritual father of U.S. fitness movement":
Jack LaLanne, the seemingly eternal master of health and fitness who first popularized the idea that Americans should work out and eat right to retain youthfulness and vigor, died Sunday. He was 96.

LaLanne died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at his home in Morro Bay, Calif., his agent Rick Hersh said. He had undergone heart valve surgery in December 2009.

Though LaLanne was for many years dismissed as merely a "muscle man" — a notion fueled to some extent by his amazing feats of strength — he was the spiritual father of the health movement that blossomed into a national craze of weight rooms, exercise classes and fancy sports clubs.

LaLanne opened what is commonly believed to be the nation's first health club, in Oakland in 1936. In the 1950s, he launched an early-morning televised exercise program keyed to housewives. He designed many now-familiar exercise machines, including leg extension machines and cable-pulley weights. And he proposed the then-radical idea that women, the elderly and even the disabled should work out to retain strength.

Full of exuberance and good cheer, LaLanne saw himself as a combination cheerleader, rescuer and savior. And if his enthusiasm had a religious fervor to it, well, so be it.

"Well it is. It is a religion with me," he told What Is Enlightenment, a magazine dedicated to awareness, in 1999. "It's a way of life. A religion is a way of life, isn't it?"

"Billy Graham was for the hereafter. I'm for the here and now," he told The Times when he was almost 92, employing his usual rapid-fire patter.

Another time, he explained, "The crusade is never off my mind — the exercise I do, the food I eat, the thought I think — all this and how I can help make my profession better-respected. To me, this one thing — physical culture and nutrition — is the salvation of America."


hartfordlh said...


hartfordlh said...

I bet God is getting a great workout now. We will miss your advertisements on tv and although your show is off the air, you are still around on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKEHWISVi9U

Dr Anthony said...

He was a great man that inspired many others..

Dr Anthony