On January 23, 2011, Jack LaLanne, an American fitness icon, died at the age of 96. Best known for his role of leading a revolution toward fitness and proper nutrition in the United States, many do not know that LaLane was also a chiropractor.
On January 26, 2001, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress issued a press release honoring the man who devoted his life toward improving the lives of others. The Foundation noted, “While most remember the late great American exercise, fitness and nutritional expert Jack LaLanne as the innovative father of the U.S. wellness movement, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress also recognizes LaLanne for his selfless contributions to the advancement of the chiropractic profession. LaLanne, an Oakland Chiropractic College graduate, developed a passion for the chiropractic profession, with his love for fitness and nutrition running parallel to the principles of chiropractic care.”
“LaLanne always believed that exercise and eating right could yield youthfulness and optimized strength – leading to longer and healthier lives,” says Gerard Clum, DC, spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. “Doctors of chiropractic hold these concepts as the basis of patient health education.”
In a July 2000 interview with Larry King on CNN, LaLanne spoke about going to chiropractic school, his business in fitness, and his gym taking off. When King asked LaLanne if he still believed in chiropractic, Jack’s response was a resounding, “One hundred percent, absolutely.”
Later in the same interview, a caller asked LaLanne why he didn’t pursue his career in chiropractic. His answer was a sobering reminder of the prejudice that existed back in those days, and how far acceptance of chiropractic has come. Jack responded, “Because I was having — so much of my business was coming from the medical doctors. And in those days, the medical doctors and chiropractors were like cats and dogs. But if they knew I was a chiropractor they wouldn’t send me any business.” LaLanne continued by saying, “But today, thank God, there is changing people, everybody is getting together. Alternative medicine is a big thing now, and that is a big, big wonderful plus for America that everybody is getting together.”
In his closing remarks, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress spokesperson Dr. Clum commented, “As a national organization dedicated to educating the public about the health benefits of chiropractic care, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress will be forever grateful for the influence and positive impact Jack LaLanne had on America and the entire chiropractic profession. He will be missed and remembered with great reverence.”