Jack LaLanne, Fitness Guru, Passes Away at 96

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Jack LaLanne was a pioneer of sorts.

A fitness aficionado who inspired TV viewers to trim down, eat well and pump iron for decades before diet and exercise became anational obsessions, he clearly followed his own advice. He was 96 when he passed away at his home Sunday.

LaLanne, who ate healthy and exercised every day of his life up until the end, according to his wife of 51 years, died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia.

"I have not only lost my husband and a great American icon, but the best friend and most loving partner anyone could hope for," Elaine LaLanne, his wife, said.

LaLanne credited a sudden interest in fitness with transforming his life as a teen, and he worked tirelessly over eight decades to transform others' lives, too.

His workout show was a hit from the 1950s to the '70s. He developed exercises that used no equipment and touted healthy eating long before it was in vogue.

Just before he had heart valve surgery in 2009 at age 95, Jack LaLanne told his family that dying would wreck his image, his publicist Ariel Hankin said. You can watch a feature CBS News put together on him around that time above.