TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Fitness guru Jack LaLanne, the man that Americans believe is most responsible for our awareness of staying healthy and fit, died yesterday at the age of 96. LaLanne inspired Americans to work out with his television show that was a staple in households from the 1950's to the 70's.
One Tyler resident, Cynthia Boles, had the chance to meet LaLanne, an American icon. "Nobody was exercising on television, that didn't exist then, and he wore these little stretchy one piece suits with a little belt, and he had these big biceps and he would show you how to exercise with nothing but a kitchen chair."
About twenty years ago, Boles was at dinner with her friend Orville Redenbacher in San Diego. Jack LaLanne walked in with his wife and his publicist, and they knew Orville and joined them for dinner. Boles said it was quite the experience. "So here's Orville Redenbacker meeting Jack Lalanne, it was kind of like, it was kind of a weird American culture Mount Rushmore thing, but it was a great dinner...we had fish." said Boles with a laugh. Boles has positive memories of the legendary fitness trainer. She said he was very friendly and nice.
Along with his popular television hit show, LaLanne opened up over two hundred health clubs. He introduced weight lifting to America. Tyler fitness expert, Kelly Hitchcock said, "Weight training wasn't something we had at that point. He was also a pioneer in introducing weight training to women, because women before hand, they just didn't work our with weights," he continued to say, "I think he just really inspired us all to become better and healthier."
LeLanne's ambition, enthusiasm, and encouragement remains with several American's still today, including those that live here in East Texas.