Honorary Unsubscribe

Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Often Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives.
These are the people you will wish you had known.

Godfather of Fitness

Jack LaLanne

As a boy, LaLanne ate a lot of sugary junk food, and was “a miserable goddamn kid,” he said years later. “I was demented! I was psychotic! It was like a horror movie!” At 15, his mother took him to hear a lecture by health food pioneer Paul Bragg, and then and there LaLanne swore off junk food. He started to exercise, even though doctors preached against it: “The doctors used to say, ...'you’ll get hemorrhoids, you won’t get an erection, you women will look like men, you athletes will get muscle-bound’.” But in 1936 he opened (in Oakland, Calif.) what’s considered the first health club in America, and of course had to design the weight machines himself. In 1951 he started an early morning TV show, in San Francisco; it went national by 1959, and ran until 1985, when he was 71. Meanwhile, he performed feats of strength as publicity stunts to show off his good health and promote his message. (Example: in 1984, at age 70, he swam a mile in Long Beach Harbor, while handcuffed, towing 70 boats holding 70 people. When he was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he did pushups over it — at age 88.) He often said “I can’t die, it would ruin my image,” but Francois Henri “Jack” LaLanne did die, at home on January 23, from pneumonia. He was 96.

From This is True for 23 January 2011


Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

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