LaLanne receives a Lifetime Achievement Award on September 3, 2007 during a ceremony at Muscle Beach in Venice Beach, California.
September 26, 1914
San Francisco, California, United States
|Died||January 23, 2011 (aged 96)|
Morro Bay, California
|Occupation||Doctor of Chiropractic and Fitness expert|
|Spouse||Irma Navarre (m. 1942–1948) |
Elaine Doyle (m. 1959–2011) (his death)
Jack LaLanne (September 26, 1914 – January 23, 2011) was an American fitness, exercise, nutritional expert, and motivational speaker who had been called "the godfather of fitness". He published numerous books on fitness and hosted a fitness television show between 1951 and 1985. He had four children.
LaLanne gained recognition for his success as a bodybuilder, as well as his prodigious feats of strength. He was inducted to the California Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He was born as John LaLanne in San Francisco, California, to Jean LaLanne and Jennie Garaig. His parents were immigrants from Oloron-Sainte-Marie in southwest France. LaLanne had an older brother, Norman (1908–2005), who lived to the age of 97.
LaLanne wrote that as a boy he was addicted to sugar and junk food. At age 15, he heard Paul Bragg give a talk on health and nutrition. Bragg's message had a powerful influence on LaLanne, who decided to focus on his diet and exercise habits. He studied Henry Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body and concentrated on bodybuilding and weightlifting.
LaLanne blamed overly processed foods for many health problems. He advocated a vegetarian diet, though he ate some fish himself, and described organic food as "a bunch of bull."
After graduating from high school, LaLanne attended night classes at Oakland Chiropractic College in San Francisco and graduated with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. In 1936, he opened his own health spa (gym) in Oakland, California and encouraged clients to better themselves through weight-training. LaLanne designed the first leg extension machines, pulley machines using cables, and the weight selectors that are now standard in the fitness industry. He was the inventor of the Smith machine. LaLanne encouraged women to lift weights (though at the time it was thought this would make women look masculine and unattractive). By the 1980s, Jack LaLanne's European Health Spas numbered more than 200. He eventually licensed all his health clubs to the Bally company, and they are now known as Bally Total Fitness. He was no longer associated with any gym but still lifted weights at the time of his death.
Books, television and other media
LaLanne presented fitness and exercise advice on television for 34 years. "The Jack LaLanne Show" was the longest running television exercise program. It began as a local program on San Francisco's ABC television station, KGO-TV, but eventually was carried on the ABC network nationwide. In 1959, LaLanne recorded Glamour Stretcher Time, a workout album which provided phonograph-based instruction for exercising with an elastic cord called the Glamour Stretcher.
LaLanne published several books and videos on fitness and nutrition, appeared in movies, recorded a song with Connie Haines. He marketed exercise equipment, a range of vitamin supplements, and two models of electric juicers. These include the "Juice Tiger", as seen on Amazing Discoveries with Mike Levey, and "Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer". It was on the show that LaLanne introduced the phrase "That's the power of the juice!"
In March 1996, 70,000 Juice Tiger juicers were recalled after "14 incidents resulting in at least eight lacerations to the hands, face, arms, and chest, and one permanent eye injury were reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and National Media Corporation of The USA." However, this was about 9 percent of the Juice Tiger models. Another 600,000 units were not recalled. The Power Juicer is still actively marketed. As of 2010, five models were available.
LaLanne celebrated his 95th birthday with the release of a new book titled, Live Young Forever. In the book, he discussed how he kept healthy and active well into his advanced age.
|PCPFS Lifetime Achievement Award winner Jack |
LaLanne recognized by Secretary Leavitt at
an HHS prevention event on Capitol Hill on
May 3, 2007.
Despite advanced age, LaLanne continued to work out every morning for two hours. He spent 1½ hours in the weight room and half an hour swimming or walking. When interviewed by Katie Couric on NBC's Today show, LaLanne said his two simple rules of nutrition are: "if man made it, don't eat it", and "if it tastes good, spit it out." He often said, "I cannot afford to die, it will ruin my image."
In a June 2007 interview, LaLanne announced that for his 95th birthday, he'd like to swim to Santa Catalina Island, a distance of approximately 26 miles (42 km) off the coast.
Interviewed on his 93rd birthday, he said his feat of strength was going to be "towing my wife across the bathtub."
On December 8, 2009, the 95-year-old LaLanne underwent heart valve surgery at a Los Angeles Hospital.
Personal life and death
LaLanne was married to Elaine LaLanne; they had two sons Dan and Jon, and a daughter, Yvonne. He died on January 23, 2011 of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at his home in Morro Bay, California.
LaLanne was an Inaugural Inductee into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2005.
On December 15, 2008, in a ceremony presided over by California Governor (and fellow 2005 inductee of the National Fitness Hall of Fame) Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Jack LaLanne was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts along with 11 other legendary Californians inducted that year
Timeline: Jack LaLanne's feats
(As reported on Jack LaLanne's web site)
1954 (age 40): swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, underwater, with 140 pounds (64 kg; 10 st) of equipment, including two air tanks. A world record.
1955 (age 41): swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. When interviewed afterwards he was quoted as saying that the worst thing about the ordeal was being handcuffed, which reduced his chance to Star Jump significantly.
1956 (age 42): set a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on You Asked For It, a television program with Art Baker.
1957 (age 43): swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound (1,100 kg; 180 st) cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile (1.6 km) swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles (10.5 km).
1958 (age 44): maneuvered a paddleboard nonstop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore. The 30-mile (48 km) trip took 9.5 hours.
1959 (age 45): did 1,000 star jumps and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour, 22 minutes and The Jack LaLanne Show went nationwide.
1974 (age 60): For the second time, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf. Again, he was handcuffed, but this time he was also shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.
1975 (age 61): Repeating his performance of 21 years earlier, he again swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000-pound (450 kg; 71 st) boat.
1976 (age 62): To commemorate the "Spirit of '76", United States Bicentennial, he swam one mile (1.6 km) in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.
1979 (age 65): towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds (2,900 kg; 460 st) of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.
1980 (age 66): towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile (1.6 km) in less than one hour.
1984 (age 70): Handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 boats with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 ½ miles.
Timeline: Jack LaLanne's awards
1992 (age 78): Jack received the Academy of Body Building and Fitness Award.
1994 (age 80): Jack received the State of California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness Lifetime Achievement Award.
1996 (age 82): Jack received the Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award.
1999 (age 85): Jack received the Spirit of Muscle Beach Award.
2002 (age 88): Jack received a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame.
2004 (age 90): Jack celebrated his 90th birthday in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. ESPN Classic ran a 24-hour marathon of the original Jack LaLanne television shows.
2004 (age 90): Jack became the official spokesperson for Covenant Reliance Producers, LLC, a Financial Marketing Organization based in Nashville, Tennessee
2005 (age 91): Jack received the Jack Webb Award from the Los Angeles Police Department Historical Society, the Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award, Interglobal's International Infomercial Award, the Freddie Award, and the Medical Media Public Service Award, and he was a Free Spirit honoree at Al Neuharth's Freedom Forum.
LaLanne appeared as himself in the following films and television shows:
Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (Season 2, 2004)
Hollywood's Magical Island: Catalina (2003)
The Simpsons (Season 10, 1999), episode "The Old Man and the C Student".
[[Fit & Fun Time (kids TV pilot) (1972)
The Addams Family (Season 2, 1966), episode "Fester Goes on a Diet"
Peter Gunn, Lalanne appeared in an episode with Craig Stevens.