Jack LaLanne is the Godfather of Fitness, and a true icon of our industry. He was Mr. Everything. He was an entrepreneur, bodybuilder, TV host, and chiropractor, and he inspired millions of people all around the world to live healthier lives.

I first met Jack in 1976, shortly after I had moved to California. This was before I had signed a contract with Joe Weider, and before I was on TV, so I didn't have much money. I was eating at a restaurant, and the waitress came over and said, "Someone by the name of Jack paid for your dinner." I remember thinking how grateful I was, and then he started walking toward me. He introduced himself and, along with being shocked, I almost had tears in my eyes because he was one of my heroes growing up.

Jack was such a sincere person; he never said a bad word about anyone. He was always a giver, never a taker. He would always encourage and motivate people to do their best, and he always had such a positive attitude. When you were around him, that positive mentality would wear off on you, and it made people respond to what he was saying.

When Jack opened his first gym in 1936, doctors told him that lifting weights would cause people to have heart attacks, become muscle bound, lower their sex drive and cause all sorts of problems. Jack knew better, and kept spreading the message of fitness, nutrition and a positive attitude. He was the epitome of discipline and positive mindset.

Jack would say, "I can't die because it would wreck my image." But the truth is, his legacy will live on forever because of his vitality, positive attitude and wonderful sense of humor. It's an honor to be part of this tribute to Jack LaLanne, and I encourage you to remember another one of his memorable quotes, "Exercise is king, nutrition is queen, put them together and you've got a kingdom."

Lou Ferrigno
Bodybuilder, Actor, IFBB Mr. America and two-time Mr. Universe

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