Fitness Expert Jack LaLanne Dies at 96

Jack LaLanne, the American fitness expert who was among the first to stress the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet, has died at age 96.His agent says LaLanne died Sunday of respiratory failure brought on by pneumonia.The San Francisco-born LaLanne said he decided to turn his life around after spending much of his teenage years at ease and eating rich, sugary foods. He said he discovered the advantages of raw fruits and vegetables and regular physical workouts.LaLanne opened his first health spa in 1936. He designed his own exercise equipment, and marketed his own books, videos and juicer machines.LaLanne’s television show, with its perky organ music and ever-present dog, was a morning television habit for millions of Americans for more than 20 years beginning in the 1950s.He also was famous for such stunts as swimming in the cold ocean while towing boats shackled to his body.LaLanne worked out regularly up until his death Voanews