Goodbye Jack Lalanne

At 96 years old Jack Lalanne was in better physical condition than many people half his age. In spite of his general good health, he died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia Sunday afternoon at his home in Morro Bay on California’s central coast. According to his agent and friend, Rick Hersh, Lalanne ate healthy and exercised every day of his life, right up until the end.

As a child I remember watching my mother exercising in front of the television to the Jack Lalanne show in the late fifties or early sixties. Born in San Francisco, Calif. in 1914, LaLanne opened his own health spa in Oakland, Calif. in 1936. He hosted TV’s “The Jack LaLanne Show” from 1951-1985.

Jack Lalanne - January 1942

“I feel you have have three ages: your chronological age (your actual age), your physical age (how you feel today), and your psychological age (how your feel mentally),” LaLanne once wrote in his book “Revitalize Your Life After 50.” “Like wine, you should be able to improve with age.”

When interviewed by Katie Couric, then hosting NBC’s Today’s show, LaLanne said his two simple rules of nutrition are: “if man made it, don’t eat it”, and “if it tastes good, spit it out.” He often said, “I cannot afford to die, it will ruin my image.”

Jack Lalanne is survived by his wife of 51 years, Elaine Lalanne, who said, “I have not only lost my husband and a great American icon, but the best friend and most loving partner anyone could ever hope for.”


“I don’t care how old I live; I just want to be LIVING while I am living!” ~Jack Lalanne

3 thoughts on “Goodbye Jack Lalanne

  1. Deborah Winter-Blood

    I remember my mom dragging a kitchen chair into the living room and exercising along with Jack when I was too young for kindergarten. (You had to have the chair to do his “slant board” exercises…the chair was NOT for sitting.)

    I don’t exercise much and I certainly don’t spit out everything that tastes good. But I hope that I, like Mrs. Lalanne, will be able to say that only death could part me from my best friend, the most loving partner anyone could hope for, and an American icon.

  2. Kirk Alcond

    I loved Jack for his confident approach to life. He was dedicated to helping us be healthy, strong and full of feelings of success.

    One place where he could have demonstrated an even better example is in the self-talk area. He is quoted as saying, “I don’t care how old I live; I just want to be LIVING while I am living!” I feel that he “Almost” had what it takes to say, “I plan to live to be 130 years old in excellent health,” and be able to achieve it.

    But still, thank you Jack, you are a winner!

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