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 Jack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne

Birth
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Death 23 Jan 2011 (aged 96)
Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County, California, USA
Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot God's Acre, Lot 2019, Grave 1
Memorial ID 64597656 · View Source
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Physical Fitness Icon. He is best remembered as "the godfather of fitness" as well as "the first fitness superhero." Born Francois Henri LaLanne, his parents emigrated from France with their families when they were children. He grew up in Bakersfield, California and around 1928 he moved with his family to Berkeley, California. As a young teen, he was addicted to sugar and junk food, had violent episodes against himself and others, suffered from headaches and bulimia, and temporarily dropped out of high school at the age of 14. When he was 15, he heard health food pioneer Paul Bragg give a talk on health and nutrition, and it changed his life forever. He began eating raw fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods, started an exercise regimen, and trained with weights. He returned to high school where he made the football team, and later attended Marymount College in San Francisco, California where he earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. In 1936 he opened what is considered the nation's first health and fitness club in Oakland, California and it led to a brief professional wrestling career in 1938. In September 1953 he began broadcasting the "Jack LaLanne Show," which started as a 15-minute local morning program (sandwiched between the morning news and a cooking show) on San Francisco's ABC television station, KGO-TV, with him paying for the airtime himself as a way to promote his gym and related health products. In 1959 the ABC television network picked up the show for nationwide broadcast, which continued until 1985, and became the longest running television exercise program. In 1963 he was the founding member of President's Council on Physical Fitness under President John F. Kennedy. He invented a number of exercise machines, including leg-extension and pulley devices that are now standard in the fitness industry, and invented the original model of what became the Smith machine. By the 1980s, his European Health Spas numbered more than 200. He eventually licensed all his health clubs to the Bally company, now known as Bally Total Fitness. He accomplished numerous physical feats during his life, including twice swimming from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. He played himself the film "Repossessed" (1990), "Amazing Discoveries" (1991), "Beefcake" (1999), and on such television shows as "You Bet Your Life," "Peter Gunn," "The Addams Family," and "The Simpsons." He also authored a number of health and fitness books, including "Jack LaLanne's Slim and Trim Diet and Exercise Guide" (1969), "Revitalize Your Life After 50" (1995), "Jack LaLanne Way to Vibrant Good Health" (2000), and "Live Young Forever" (2009). In 2007 he was awarded The President's Council's Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, or sports nationwide and in 2008 he was inducted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger into the California Hall of Fame. He died at this home of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at the age of 96. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to television.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: C & N Rasmussen
  • Added: 23 Jan 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 64597656
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jack LaLanne (26 Sep 1914–23 Jan 2011), Find A Grave Memorial no. 64597656, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .