Most Famous TV Fitness Guru–Who Once Said Dying Would Be Bad For His Image–Passes Away at Age 96

Jan 24, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Starting with a local TV show in 1951 he became TV’s most famous fitness guru, saying once that dying would be bad for his image.

But Jack LaLanne could not out bench-press the grim reaper forever, and he’s died at age 96, The New York Times reports.

The cause was respiratory failure resulting from pneumonia, according to his son Dan Doyle, the story notes. LaLanne described himself as a physical mess as a kid, but turned his life (and body) around when he heard a talk on proper eating at age 15.

After starting to work out with weights in 1936, LaLanne opened a gym, juice bar and health food store in Oakland, California. In 1951, he debuted "The Jack LaLanne Show" as a local San Francisco program, moving it to a national audience on daytime television in 1959, the article notes.

The show, which featured LaLanne in a short-sleeved jumpsuit as he moved through his exercise routines, ended in the mid-1980s, the piece says.

Using his TV success, LaLanne opened dozens of gyms with his name and later licensed them to Bally. After "The Jack LaLanne Show" ended in 1980s, it lived on in reruns on ESPN Classic, the story notes.

LaLanne is survived by his son Dan Doyle, his wife, Elaine; their son, Jon; and a daughter, Yvonne, the story notes. LaLanne promoted fitness into his final years, the article points out.

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One Comment

  1. Bless his heart — he lived a long, happy, fruitful, healthy, productive life on his own terms.

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