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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jack LaLanne - Born: September 26, 1914 - Died January 23, 2011 RIP

Jack LaLanne died today. He was 96. Do a few few push-ups in his honor this week.

He popularized fitness more than Frank Shorter, Jim Fixx, Bill Rodgers combined.

Most recently, he made infomercials hawking juicers. At his most commercial, health was a forefront of what he was about. Mostly, his impact was before my time. By the time I was born in 1966, he was a legend.

Why he matters to running is that he gave a voice to fitness beyond weightlifting and Charles Atlas bodybuilding types. While Atlas certainly addressed and encouraged fitness, LaLanne's goal was not to build big men, but healthy, strong men through smart exercise and eating.
 Famous for his phrase: "I cannot afford to die, it will ruin my image," we know Jack LaLanne lived well.
Feats and Honors
From Jack LaLanne's website
1954 Age 40: Swam the length of
the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge underwater with 140 pounds of equipment, including two air tanks… an undisputed world record.
1955 Age 41: Swam, handcuffed, from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA.

1956 Age 42: Set a world record of 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes on “You Asked for It, a TV Show with Art Baker.

1957 Age 43: Swam the treacherous Golden Gate Channel, towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser. This involved fighting the cold, swift ocean currents that made the 1 mile swim a 6 ½ mile test of strength and endurance.

1958 Age 44: Maneuvered a paddleboard 30 miles, 9-½ hours non-stop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore.

1959 Age 45: Completed 1,000 pushups and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hours and 22 minutes. “Happy” is born and The Jack LaLanne Show goes nationwide.

1974 Age 60: Swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.

1975 Age 61: Swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater, for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.

1976 Age 62: Commemorating the “Spirit of ‘76”, swam 1 mile in Long Beach Harbor, handcuffed, shackled and towing 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.

1979 Age 65: Towed 65 boats filled with 6,500-pounds of Lousiana Pacific wood pulp while handcuffed and shackled in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan.

1980 Age 66: Towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida filled with 77 people for over a mile in less than 1 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.

1992 Age 78: Academy of Body Building and Fitness Award

1994 Age 80: State of California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Lifetime Achievement Award

1996 Age 82: Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award

1999 Age 85: Spirit of Muscle Beach Award

2002 Age 88: Jack receives his very own star on the Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame

2004 Age 90: Jack celebrates his birthday with a major media blitz in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. ESPN Classic runs a 24 Hour marathon of the original Jack LaLanne Shows

2005 Age 91: Received the Jack Webb Award from the Los Angeles Police Historical Society, the Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award, Interglobal’s International Infomercial Award, the Freddie, Medical Media Public Service Award, and he was a Free Spirit honoree at Al Neuharth’s Freedom Fourm.

2007 Age 93: Received the Treasures of Los Angeles Award, Lifetime Achievement Award from Muscle Beach, and the Y.M.C.A. Impact Award.

2008 Age 94: Inducted into the California Hall of Fame, Parker Seminars Award, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities from the Southern California University of Health Sciences, receives the People of Vision Award from the RP International, receives the Heroes Humanity Award, and was inducted into the Gallery of Legends hosted by the World Acrobatics Society.

2009 Age 95: Jack receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Club Industry. Jack LaLanne days were observed in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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