1/24/2011

Jack LaLanne dies at 96

(CNN) -- American fitness guru Jack LaLanne died Sunday afternoon at his home in Morro Bay, California, according to his long-time agent, Rick Hersh. He was 96.

The cause, said Hersh, was respiratory failure due to pneumonia. LaLanne had been ill for the past week. His wife, Elaine, was at his side, along with his family and friends, Hersh said. No funeral arrangements were announced, but his agent said plans were being made.

LaLanne spent decades talking about the healthful benefits of exercise and fitness. He opened his own health spa in California in 1936, years before the fitness craze swept the United States. LaLanne even designed the world's first leg-extension machine, along with several other pieces of fitness equipment now standard in the fitness industry.

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