Fitness Industry Mourned Passing of Leaders in 2011

Jack LaLanne used to always say that he couldn’t die—it would ruin his image. Sadly, LaLanne passed away in January at the age of 96. LaLanne, Club Industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient in 2009, is credited with several firsts in the industry, including opening the first health club in the United States in 1936. Fitness celebrities Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Richard Simmons and Denise Austin eulogized LaLanne at his memorial service.

It was a tough year for the industry, which mourned the loss of other club operators and leaders. Dale Dibble, founder of Cedardale Health & Fitness, Haverhill, MA, and one of the co-founders of IHRSA, died in December 2010 at the age of 90. Tim Richards, owner of Orchard Hills Athletic Club, Lancaster, MA, and one of the founding directors of IHRSA, died in January at the age of 69. And Steve Williams, a sales executive with Cybex and Technogym, died in April at the age of 62.

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