LaLanne died Jan. 23 of respiratory failure due to pneumonia at the age of 96 at his home in Morro Bay on California's central coast. LaLanne, who ate healthfully and exercised daily up until the end, leaves behind a legacy of physical feats, some of which may never be replicated.
In 1954, at age 40, he swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, underwater, with 140 pounds of equipment, including two air tanks.
A year later, LaLanne swam 1.23 miles from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. He later told an interviewer that the worst part about the ordeal was not being able to do jumping jacks during the swim. Some of his other stunts include:
- In 1957, at the age of 43, LaLanne swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned what should have been a one-mile swim into a 6.5-mile ordeal.
- In 1958, when LaLanne was 44, he paddle boarded nonstop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore, a distance of 30 miles. The trip took him 9.5 hours.
- In 1974, LaLanne turned 60, but he showed the world that, for him, age was just a number by once again swimming from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf. However, this time, he was not only handcuffed but also shackled. Oh, and he towed a 1,000-pound boat.
- In 1976, LaLanne commemorated the United States Bicentennial by swimming one mile in Long Beach Harbor. Despite being shackled and handcuffed, he managed to tow 13 boats (one for each of the 13 original colonies) with a total of 76 people.
- In 1979, when LaLanne was 65, he towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. Yes, he was handcuffed and shackled, but this time, the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.
- A year later, in 1980, LaLanne, now 66, towed 10 boats in North Miami, Fla. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile in less than one hour.
- LaLanne's last public stunt was in 1994, when he celebrated his 80th birthday by getting handcuffed and shackled in order to fight strong winds and currents and swim 1.5 miles while towing 80 boats with 80 people from the Queensway Bay Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary.
Of all the physical feats LaLanne did in his life, he said the most challenging involved chin-ups, such as the time when he was 45 and did 1,000 jumping jacks and 1,000 chin-ups in one hour, 22 minutes.
"The chin-ups were definitely the hardest," he told AOL News in one of his last interviews, in September.
"Look, I did these feats to show that anything in life is possible," LaLanne said. "All of us can be much better than we are."