Birthplace: San Francisco, CA
A self-proclaimed junk food addict and sugarholic whose early life was plagued by headaches, bulimia, and a short temper, Francois Henri LaLanne claimed his life changed at the age of 15 when he went to a lecture on health and nutrition. From that point on LaLanne (nicknamed Jack by his older brother), dedicated his life to fitness. In 1936 at the age of 21, he opened the country’s first fitness club, the Jack LaLanne Physical Culture Studio. Considered by many to be a fool and a fanatic, this pioneer invented the first weight machines and produced the first exercise video. His methods were simple and his messages clear: fitness is for everyone and it is never too late. LaLanne’s nationally syndicated television program ran from 1959–1985. Working out for two hours a day until his death, Jack LaLanne certainly practiced what he preached, and is widely considered the father of the modern fitness movement. LaLanne died at home in Morro Bay, Calif. at the age of 96 due to respiratory failure stemming from pneumonia.
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