He was an American fitness, exercise, and nutritional expert and motivational speaker. He is sometimes called "the godfather of fitness" and turned his life around after listening to a public lecture by Paul Bragg, a well-known nutrition speaker. During his career, he came to believe that the country's overall health depended on the health of its population, writing that "physical culture and nutrition — is the salvation of America."
Open Water Swims
- In 1976, he swam one mile in Long Beach Harbor handcuffed and shackled as he towed 13 boats containing 76 people.
- In 1954 at the age of 40, he swam 1.23 miles from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed.
- In 1957 at the age of 43, he swam across the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2500-pound cabin cruiser.
- In 1958 at the age of 44, he paddled 30 miles from Farallon Islands to San Francisco shore in 9.5 hours.
- In 1974 at the age of 60, he once again swam handcuffed and shackled towing a 1000-pound boat from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf.
- In 1976 at the age of 62, he swam one mile in Long Beach Harbor shackled and handcuffed while towing 13 boats with 76 people sitting onboard.
- In 1979 at the age of 65, he towed 65 boats weighed down with 6500 pounds in Lake Ashinoko near Tokyo, Japan while handcuffed and shackled.
- In 1980 at the age of 66, he towed 10 boats with 77 people one mile in North Miami, Florida.
- In 1994 at the age of 80, he swam 1.5 miles handcuffed and shackled while towing 80 boats with 80 people from the Queensway Bay Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary
"Look, I did these feats to show that anything in life is possible. All of us can be much better than we are."
"I can't afford to die, it will ruin my image."