(MORRO BAY, Calif.) -- Fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne has died at age 96.
The man considered to be the "Godfather of Fitness" passed away from respiratory failure due to pneumonia at his home in Morro Bay, California. According to his website, LaLanne opened the nation's first modern gym in 1936 in Oakland, California when he was just 21 years old.
"I was 40 years ahead of my time," he said. "People thought I was a charlatan and a nut. The doctors were against me -- they said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive."
In 1951, LaLanne became a TV fixture with The Jack LaLanne Show. It ran until 1985 and stands as America's longest-running fitness show. He and his wife, Elaine LaLanne, also became infomercial fixtures, selling LaLanne's signature juicers.
LaLanne's also credited with inventing several fitness machines that are now industry standards, such as the leg extension, pulley and Smith machine, and the weight selection mechanisms that go with them.
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