A great man died in his home yesterday just up the road from me in Morro Bay, Ca. Jack LaLanne is often noted as the Godfather of Fitness. He paved the way for the amazing profession I am in. 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.
Just take a look at the long list of accomplishments attributed to Lalanne:
- 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 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile.
These are the awards he received:
- 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 set a very high standard of living. In my humble opinion he is to be looked up to by anyone who calls them self a fitness professional.
Rest in peace, Jack LaLanne.