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Fitness Industry Reacts to Passing of Jack LaLanne

Several people in the fitness industry, from club operators to suppliers, have offered Club Industry their comments on the death of Jack LaLanne. Here are their responses:

“The entire Gold’s Gym family offers our deepest condolences to Jack LaLanne’s family, along with our sincerest thanks for his incredible contributions to our industry. Jack was a true fitness pioneer, and his hard work and dedication helped improve the lives of millions of people around the world. Whether it was his incredible personal fitness accomplishments, or the many innovations he introduced to the industry, Jack always led by example and never stopped finding new ways to inspire people to live a healthy lifestyle. We are proud of the friendship he shared with our founder, Joe Gold, and we will be forever grateful that he made fitness more accessible to people everywhere.” –Jim Snow, president, Gold’s Gym International

“I vividly remember watching Jack LaLanne on a black and white TV as a young boy growing up in New York City and being fascinated. My younger brothers and I would try to imitate whatever Jack was doing, but invariably one of us would knock one of the others over and it turned into a wrestling match. One way or another, Jack helped us get our exercise. He’s an industry icon whose contributions are immeasurable and he will be deeply missed.” –Mark Daly, national media director, Anytime Fitness

“I invited Jack to come here three years ago on behalf of Humana, Healthways/Silver Sneakers and Lifestyle Family Fitness. We shared the expense equally! We paid him approximately $22,000 for him and Elaine to come here for two days. He was 92 years old at that time. We started each day at 6 a.m. Each day we met with at least three radio stations and two newspapers and a couple of TV interviews…at least a dozen interviews in two days. The media loved him!!! The members waited 60 deep in three clubs to meet him, shake his hand and get his autograph. His famous line to the media was, ‘I thank you from the bottom of my bottom,’ and, “I am not ready to die; it would be bad for my image.’ We became good friends from that visit. He will be missed.” –Geoff Dyer, founder, Lifestyle Family Fitness

“Fitness lost what many in our industry called the godfather [Sunday]. I met Jack and his wife a few years back at one of the industry conventions and echo what many have said, that he inspired MILLIONS—I know he did me. Jack LaLanne revolutionized our fitness industry, is credited with launching fitness movements, and urged Americans to eat better and exercise more up to his last day I am sure. I remember his famous quotes: “The only way you can hurt the body is not use it,” or, “It’s never too late.” I recall his feats of strength and his energy and enthusiasm as well as love for our industry. He laid the groundwork and vision for many of us. His contributions and legacy will never be forgotten and his inspiration will continue to burn in all of us. We at Merritt Athletic Clubs express our sincerest condolences to those Jack LaLanne left behind. We ask that everyone in the industry honor Jack by taking his message to heart and do something to continue to spread his timeless truths about exercise and health throughout our communities and among all our members and staff. –Mark Miller, vice president, Merritt Athletic Clubs

“He was nothing short of an icon. He not only was a pioneer in our industry, but he symbolized fitness to virtually everyone in America. I think many people view him as the genesis. And no one was more sincere or dedicated to the cause than Jack LaLanne. –Nanette Pattee Francini, president and founder, The Sports Club Co.

“Jack LaLanne was an inspiration to all. I only met him once very early on in my career, but his presence was felt by all in the industry for what he accomplished, made important and shared with everyone.” –Bill McBride, COO, Club One

“Jack LaLanne was a friend and inspiration. He stood for everything that is right about health and fitness. A true pioneer is gone. He will be greatly missed.” –Mark Mastrov, co-founder, New Evolution Ventures

“Jack and I go back almost 35 years! His ability to inspire the world to eat right, sleep more and to move more is his legacy! Personally, Jack was one of my mentors. Jack led by example. I’m going to miss his smile!” –Augie Nieto

“I am very sad that we have lost our beloved ‘Godfather of Fitness.’ I feel both honored and privileged to have worked with Jack during his last book tour, ‘Live Young Forever.’ We had an incredible journey together and I will always remember the crowds waiting to meet him and tell him he was their hero. I will never forget one particular time when Jack was filming outdoors for a TV Show in New York City, when all of a sudden this man walks by and recognizes him and shouts ‘Oh my God, It’s Jack LaLanne! You are one of my heroes!’ The ‘King of Comedy,’ Jerry Seinfeld, was that man and he shook his hero’s hand. In closing, Jack LaLanne, the pioneer of fitness, paved the way for all of us in the health and fitness industry and will forever live on in our hearts.” –Silvie Bordeaux, CEO and founder, Bordeaux PR

“Our industry lost a legend and one of our global icons with the passing of Jack LaLanne. He helped shape our industry and put his stamp on the importance of physical fitness for millions in the U.S. and around the globe. He will be missed.” –Mike Sheehan, CEO, Bally Total Fitness

“24 Hour Fitness joins fans and fitness enthusiasts from around the globe in honoring the legacy of Jack LaLanne. Mr. LaLanne was a pioneer and respected advocate in the fitness community, and his contributions to our industry will not soon be forgotten. His passion for life and exercise has inspired countless Americans to get active and stay healthy. He will be missed.” –Wendy Yellin, senior director of public relations, 24 Hour Fitness

“Jack LaLanne was the most important pioneer of the modern fitness industry. Without Jack’s very popular Jack LaLanne TV Show and his lectures in Southern California, there’s no way that Vic Tanny, or I, could have launched our two companies in Southern California (The Vic Tanny Gyms and my American/Silhouette Health Clubs). And, for sure, we could not have gone national in the 50s without Jack’s TV appearances. Even in his 90s, Jack never lost his dedication to fitness or his tremendous enthusiasm. To me, Jack LaLanne was the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World,’ and no one will ever come close to his fitness records and his positive influence on the fitness of America.” –Ray Wilson

“I was privileged to spend time with Jack LaLanne and get to know him personally. His two defining qualities were passion and commitment. At a young age, Jack recognized his purpose in life. He believed that he could make a difference in the lives of people by teaching them to exercise and to eat healthier. He never wavered in that passion or commitment for 80 years. As a result, literally millions of people have lived longer and better lives. Many people don’t know that Jack was a chiropractor, inventor of Carnation Instant Breakfast and a consummate entrepreneur. Along with his wife, Elaine, their juicer infomercials sold millions of units and won awards for effectiveness. All this and in his nineties!” –Gary Heavin, founder and CEO, Curves

“Jack was not only ‘The Godfather of Fitness,’ he was a true visionary ahead of his time. The team at Urban Active thank Jack and his family for all of their contributions to people around the world. Jack truly changed lives! Our sincere thoughts are with them through these times.” –Royce Pulliam, CEO, Urban Active

“Millennium Partners Sports Club Management would like to express its sincere condolences to the family of Jack LaLanne. He was a pioneer in the fitness industry whose contributions are what helped to build the business to what it is today. He will be missed but remembered by all those who make fitness a part of their healthy lifestyle.” –Dave Canter, national director of fitness, Millennium Partners Sports Club Management

“Jack was an inspirational man and Life Fitness is deeply saddened by this loss of such a motivational soul. Having opened the first health club in 1936 and creating the fitness movement as we know it today, Jack LaLanne had a commitment to exercise that was ahead of his time. We will be forever grateful to Jack for what he’s done for fitness as an industry and for Life Fitness as a company.” –Chris Clawson, president, Life Fitness

“Jack LaLanne was a pioneer in fitness, bringing health and exercise to people everywhere. Our thoughts are with his family and fans.” –American Council on Exercise, via Twitter

“We at NASM extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of the ‘The Godfather of Fitness,’ Jack LaLanne. He was a fitness visionary, an inspiration to our organization, and we strive to live up to the example he set. May he rest in peace.” –National Academy of Sports Medicine on Facebook

“One of the many impressive things about Jack LaLanne was his unwavering dedication to sharing the benefits of fitness with others. He embodied the higher calling of our industry—helping people improve their lives and achieve their dreams.” –Precor

“Jack LaLanne was ahead of his time and a real pioneer in the fitness industry. I recall my mother doing exercises with a kitchen chair to Jack LaLanne’s tutelage back in the late ’50s and early ’60s. The habit stuck—my 79-year-old mother is still ‘training’ now at the Valley Memorial Hospital fitness center. What Jack started, and Arthur Jones revolutionized, contributed to the proliferation of the industry in which we now participate. The Nautilus 40-year heritage of fitness innovation may have not occurred had it not been for Jack LaLanne’s influence on the American way of fitness. His exuberance and commitment to health will be missed.” –Dean Sbragia, CEO, Med-Fit Systems

“The fitness industry lost one of our biggest pioneers and personalities, the Godfather of Fitness. He will be truly missed but will always be remembered for his contributions to our industry.” –Steve Ayers, vice president of sales and marketing, ABC Financial

“The term icon can be overused, but in this case, it doesn’t begin to do justice for Jack LaLanne. He was an icon, pioneer and legend in the fitness industry. Truly a man ahead of his time.” –Sean Kirby, national sales director, ASF International

“I had the pleasure of meeting Jack a few years ago and needless to say I was immediately impressed with his vitality and strength. He certainly talked the talk and walked the walk every day. His feats at 70 were more than most men could do in their 20s. We’ve lost an industry leader. –Kyle Zagrodzky, president and CEO, iGo Figure Software

“While I never met Jack LaLanne, I and everyone else certainly knew who he was. He was a trailblazer of fitness and nutrition. We accomplish great things standing on the shoulders of giants who preceded us, and Jack certainly was a giant in this industry. –Matt Zagrodzky, vice president, iGo Figure Software

“My first encounter with Jack LaLanne was watching him on television. While my older cousin and I would never admit it, we worked out with Jack. Never bought one of those jumpsuits, though. At Club Industry, I was impressed that he was the same in person as on TV, just 40 or so years older. –Randy Ivey, marketing consultant, iGo Figure Software

“We are saddened by the passing of the fitness and wellness guru, Jack LaLanne. He was the embodiment of the values that we hold dear. Our society owes a debt of gratitude to this man who promoted the idea of wellness and fitness as part of our daily lives. The Technogym family sends our sincere sympathy to Mr. LaLanne’s family during this time.” –Kim Donohue, marketing and communications manager, Technogym USA

“Jack LaLanne, the fitness guru who inspired television viewers to trim down, eat well and pump iron for decades before diet and exercise became a national obsession, died Sunday. He was 96. Our thoughts are with his family.” -Hoist Fitness Systems on Facebook.

“The owners of 25,000-plus health clubs in America should be forever thankful to Jack LaLanne for the fact that there is a market for what is sold in their clubs: exercise and proper nutrition education. For decades, this brilliant man’s work on his Jack LaLanne TV show introduced millions of Americans to the concept of exercise for the first time ever. In turn, those millions passed on this lifestyle of exercise to their children. Millions of those same children, and even some of those early TV viewers, are now among 40-plus million members of health clubs across North America. The mere presence of Jack LaLanne on this Earth was a great motivation to thousands of people in our industry to be excited about what we do, to do what we do with full vigor and dedication and to always have a smile on our face and make exercise FUN! The memory of his smiling face and exercising body will live in the minds of people in the health and fitness club industry forever. Jack LaLanne is already greatly missed. May he rest in peace.” –Norm Cates, publisher, Club Insider

“Jack LaLanne was the first to present exercising as a regular and non-intimidating activity. He even brought it into the home with no real cost. Then, he led the way in the early days with creating commercial health clubs. He became a true industry legend. He lived every day as the ideal fitness role model. He will be missed.” –Rick Caro, president, Management Vision Inc.

“He was a dynamo. He was just a little ball of dynamite. He was in shape. He’s going to be missed. He thought he was going to last forever. We all did.” –Mike Uretz, key advisor, World Gym International

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