America’s most important health and fitness icon died today at age 96.
In 2006 Jack LaLanna said “I can't afford to die. It would wreck my image.”
He’s probably most famous for his TV fitness program from the 1950s through the ‘70s, and for some highly publicized achievements: doing 1,000 pushups in 23 minutes, and swimming across San Francisco Bay while towing a boat.
In the 1930s and ‘40s he brought weight-lifting and other strength-training routines — which were generally dismissed as some sort of weird cult activity at the time — into the mainstream. Some of his bodyweight-only exercises were the most brutal of all.
For example, no matter how much you can lift — betcha can’t do this.
Jack LaLanne was still doing Jack LaLanne pushups when he was ninety.
America needs him now more than ever.