Seems like following Jack LaLanne’s fitness tips pays off—at least for Jack LaLanne—as the iconic health guru, who made his way into the living rooms and kitchens of American housewives in the 1950s and stuck by his regimen for another half century, lived to the seriously advanced age of 96 before dying in California on Sunday. —KA
Los Angeles Times:
Billy Graham was for the hereafter. I’m for the here and now,” he told The Times when he was almost 92, employing his usual rapid-fire patter.
Another time, he explained, “The crusade is never off my mind — the exercise I do, the food I eat, the thought I think — all this and how I can help make my profession better-respected. To me, this one thing — physical culture and nutrition — is the salvation of America.”
When he started, he knew that most people viewed him as a charlatan. That’s when he decided to do the stunts that made him famous.
“I had to get people believing in me,” he said.
He performed his first feat in 1954, when he was 40 and wanted to prove he wasn’t “over the hill.” He swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge — underwater. (He carried two air tanks.)
Other feats in his 40s: swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf wearing handcuffs; swimming the Golden Gate Channel while towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser; pulling a paddleboard 30 miles from the Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore.
At age 60, he upped the ante by swimming from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, handcuffed and shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.
Physical fitness expert Jack LaLanne strikes a pose on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on his 88th birthday after dedication ceremonies on Sept. 26, 2002.