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Honoring the Long Life of Jack LaLanne

Written by PETA | January 24, 2011
nathan cremisino/cc by 2.0

As a nutrition and fitness expert for almost 80 years, Jack LaLanne dedicated his life to inspiring people to eat properly and exercise. So it’s no wonder that the nonagenarian was still remarkably spry when he passed away on Sunday at the age of 96. For LaLanne, eating properly meant avoiding meat and milk. When questioned about his aversion to milk during an interview on Dateline NBC, the always jovial Jack said, “It’s not good for you. It’s good for a suckling calf. Are you a suckling calf?”

Among his many credits, the “godfather of fitness” authored many books on health and hosted the longest-running television exercise program in history, The Jack LaLanne Show, for 34 years. LaLanne opened many health clubs and designed much of the equipment used in gyms today. He is also known for his amazing feats of strength, such as swimming from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco while handcuffed (vegan PETA Foundation staffer and endurance swimmer Becky Fenson has made the same trek—swimming the butterfly, no less—but admittedly handcuff-free), towing up to 70 boats long distances while handcuffed and shackled, and doing 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes. LaLanne set several world records for strength and endurance.

Jack LaLanne’s feats brought him fame, but all he really wanted was to show people how to be healthy. If you would like to follow Jack’s long-lived example, you can start by picking up PETA’s free vegetarian/vegan starter kit

Written by Michelle Sherrow

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  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Wow, kudos to vegan Becky. The butterfly is seriously energy sapping. Becky’s gotta be in marvellous shape. The list of top tier vegan and vegetarian athletes is long—maybe something to do with whistle-clean arteries.

  • Kristen says:

    What a wonderful man. I’ve been getting so much out of watching YouTube clips of Jack LaLanne lately, and remember my dad watching his show every day when I was little. Many thanks to him, and blessings to his family.

  • joseerocks says:

    Man, I thought Jack LaLanne was gonna live forever. He truly was an inspiration, and I thank him for all the inspiration he brought me, to eat better, drink fresh juice, and excersise.

  • vasiliki says:

    Jack LaLane was an inspiration and an all around good guy.He will be missed. Condolences to family.

  • vikki finnegan says:

    Such a great man, a true icon for health and proper nutrition. The fitness pioneer; his tv show was a real upper. RIP Jack

  • Carla* says:

    Wow, what an awesome guy!! R.I.P. and may God bless you for eternity!!

  • Val says:

    Such a good man! 🙂