He was an American fitness, exercise, and nutritional expert and motivational speaker. He is sometimes called "the godfather of fitness" and turned his life around after listening to a public lecture by Paul Bragg, a well-known nutrition speaker. During his career, he came to believe that the country's overall health depended on the health of its population, writing that "physical culture and nutrition — is the salvation of America."
Open Water Swims
- In 1954 at the age of 40, he swam the length of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge underwater with 140 pounds of equipment, including two air tanks
- In 1955 at the age of 41, he swam 1.23 miles from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed.
- In 1957 at the age of 43, he swam across the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2500-pound cabin cruiser.
- In 1958 at the age of 44, he paddled 30 miles from the Farallon Islands to San Francisco shore in 9.5 hours.
- In 1974 at the age of 60, he once again swam handcuffed and shackled towing a 1000-pound boat from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf.
- In 1975 at the age of 61, he swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge underwater for a second time handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat
- In 1976 at the age of 62, he swam one mile in Long Beach Harbor shackled and handcuffed while towing 13 boats with 76 people sitting onboard
- In 1979 at the age of 65, he towed 65 boats weighed down with 6500 pounds in Lake Ashinoko near Tokyo, Japan while handcuffed and shackled.
- In 1980 at the age of 66, he towed 10 boats with 77 people one mile in North Miami, Florida.
- In 1984 at the age of 70, he towed handcuffed and shackled, 70 boats 1.5 miles with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary
- In 1994 at the age of 80, he swam 1.5 miles handcuffed and shackled while towing 80 boats with 80 people from the Queensway Bay Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary
- In 1992 at the age of 78, he received the Academy of Body Building and Fitness Award
- In 1994 at the age of 80, he received the State of California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Lifetime Achievement Award
- In 1996 at the age of 82, he received the Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award
- In 1999 at the age of 85, he received the Spirit of Muscle Beach Award
- In 2002 at the age of 88, he received his own star on the Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame
- In 2005 at the age of 91, he received the Jack Webb Award from the Los Angeles Police Historical Society, the Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award, Interglobal’s International Infomercial Award, the Freddie, Medical Media Public Service Award, and he was a Free Spirit honoree at Al Neuharth’s Freedom Fourm
- In 2007 at the age of 93, he received the Treasures of Los Angeles Award, Lifetime Achievement Award from Muscle Beach, and the Y.M.C.A. Impact Award
- In 2008 at the age of 94, he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, Parker Vision of Chiropractic Award, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities from the Southern California University of Health Sciences, receives the People of Vision Award from the RP International, receives the Heroes Humanity Award, and was inducted into the Gallery of Legends hosted by the World Acrobatics Society
- In 2009 at the age of 95, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Club Industry. Jack LaLanne days were observed in San Francisco and Los Angeles
- In 2011 at the age of 97, he received an IDEA World Inspirational Award and the ERA Moxy Icon Award
"Look, I did these feats to show that anything in life is possible. All of us can be much better than we are."
"I can't afford to die, it will ruin my image."