Monday, January 24, 2011

Physical Fitness Pioneer Jack LaLanne Dies at 96 (Video)

One of my earliest TV memories is of watching Jack LaLanne's daily exercise show while my mother did her housework. She never actually did any of the exercises he demonstrated. I think that she just enjoyed a little eye candy in the morning, although her Catholic upbringing would never let her admit it.

LaLanne died of pneumonia in his home Sunday at the age of 96.

The veteran body builder started his career posing for beefcake photos in the 1940's and 50's. LaLanne and his wife Elaine (yes, Elaine LaLanne) were the first to use TV to promote physical fitness to the masses.

After achieving fame for his TV show, LaLanne went on to open a chain of successful gyms and marketed a line of juicers and other health food products.

LaLanne had been known for his feats of strength in his later years. In 1984, handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, LaLanne towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, a distance of 1 mile.

Here's a look at what took the edge off the drudgery of daily housework for housewives of the 50's and 60's.

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