I had been thinking about Jack LaLanne for some time now, so I am very sad to hear this news of his passing at the age of 96. Most people over the age of 40 or so in the U.S. have probably heard of Jack LaLanne. Those of us even older practically grew up with him, at least in the media, although I personally was too young to have watched his TV show, which was highly popular in the 1950s.

Over the years, we heard stories about Jack doing extraordinary things like swimming in San Francisco Bay while handcuffed and shackled, or pulling 80 boats with 80 people in them across the Long Beach Harbor on his 80th birthday in 1994. He was surely amazing in proving to the world that one can extend one’s life through diet and exercise, and I’d hoped he would live to be 120 or even break the world record set by the extraordinary French woman Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122.

My memories of Jack LaLanne over the decades were jogged mightily some years ago when I received an email from his son, who informed me he was a fan of my work and who had his lovely mother kindly send me a LaLanne juicer. Indeed, I’d been thinking about Jack’s son lately when I heard this sad news.

Rest in peace, Jack. You are one of the great ones, to be sure, and I will continue to draw inspiration from your example of health and longevity.

Jack LaLanne dies at 96; brought fitness to masses

LOS ANGELES – Jack LaLanne was prodding Americans to get off their couches and into the gym decades before it was cool. And he was still pumping iron and pushing fruits and vegetables decades past most Americans’ retirement age.

The fitness fanatic ate well and exercised — and made it his mission to make sure everyone did the same — right up to the end at age 96, friends and family said….