Jack LaLanne Is Born

Jack LaLanne (born September 26, 1914) is an American fitness, exercise and nutritional expert, celebrity, lecturer, and motivational speaker who has been referred to as "the godfather of fitness." He has published fitness books as well as hosting a long-running fitness television show between 1951 and 1985.

LaLanne gained worldwide renown for his success as a bodybuilder, as well as his prodigious feats of strength. He has won numerous awards, including the Horatio Alger Award from the Association of Distinguished Americans and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Hall of Fame.

LaLanne attended Oakland Chiropractic College in San Francisco (which eventually merged with Los Angeles Chiropractic College), but, in 1936 decided to open his own health spa (gym) in Oakland, California and encourage clients to better themselves through weight-training. LaLanne designed the first leg extension machines, pulley machines using cables, and weight selectors which are now standard in the fitness industry. He was the original inventor of the Smith machine. LaLanne also encouraged women to lift weights (in spite of the fact that at the time it was thought this would make women look masculine and unattractive). By the 1980s, there were more than 200 health clubs bearing his name. LaLanne eventually licensed all his health clubs to the Bally company, and they became known as Bally Total Fitness. Today he is no longer associated with any gym but still actively lifts weights.