The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Dr. Cooper Among Honorees for Lifetime Achievement

Aerobics founder Dr. Ken Cooper, TV fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne, Jazzercise creator Judi Sheppard Missett, bodybuilding popularizer Joe Weider, conditioning advocate and researcher Bonnie Prudden, and philanthropist Bud Seretean are winners of the first Lifetime Achievement Awards given by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Dr. CooperThe President's Council's Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, or sports nationwide. Winners are chosen by the members of the PCPFS based on the span and scope of an individual's career, the estimated number of lives the individual has touched through his or her work, the legacy of the individual's work, and additional awards or honors received over the course of his or her career.

"The President's Council is very proud to honor these six distinguished individuals, Council Chairman John Burke said. Our Lifetime Achievement Award winners are luminaries in their respective fields, passionately serving as role models by demonstrating, through their work, the important role physical activity can play in leading a long, healthy life."

The Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented at a joint awards luncheon held in conjunction with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to kick off National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. The United States Olympic Committee also presented awards to their 2006 USOC SportsMan, SportsWoman, Team and Paralympian of the Year, as well as their 2006 Coaching Awards.

2007 PCPFS Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Ken Cooper, M.D. - Considered the Father of Aerobics, Dr. Ken Cooper started a fitness revolution with his 1968 publication, Aerobics. His publications have been translated into 41 languages. In his professional career, Dr. Cooper developed a cardiovascular fitness test and Aerobics point system that continues to be used today to assess physical fitness levels among military and law enforcement personnel, among others, and helped NASA develop programs to condition astronauts preparing for flight. Dr. Cooper opened the Cooper Aerobics Center, a clinic and nonprofit research facility, in 1970.

Jack LaLanne - At 92 years old, Jack LaLanne is considered the Godfather of Fitness and has been impacting lives for over 70 years. He opened one of the first health studios in 1936 and hosted the "Jack LaLanne Show", a health and fitness TV series that ran nationally from 1959-1985. He has been recognized with the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness Lifetime Achievement Award, Dwight D. Eisenhower Award, and the Academy of Body Building and Fitness Award.

Bonnie Prudden - Bonnie Prudden is one of the founders of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which was established in 1956 as the "President's Council on Youth Fitness." She utilized the fitness test developed by Drs. Hans Kraus and Sonja Weber to test the fitness of children in the United States, Europe and Central America, which ultimately led to a report that was presented to President Eisenhower and the establishment of the President's Council. She was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2006 and has dedicated more than 60 years of her professional career to improving the health of women, men, and children.

Bud Seretean - At 83 years old, Bud Seretean still finds the time to lecture on health and wellness and practices what he preaches. He changed his own health habits in 1975 due to a health scare and in turn, changed many other lives. In 1990, through a gift from Mr. Seretean, the Oklahoma State University/Sereatan Wellness Center was built. In 1997, Emory University dedicated the M.B. Seretean Center for Health Promotion, where Mr. Seretean saw an opportunity to serve and educate. He recently wrote a book, "Living Healthy to 100," which conveys the message of healthy living for seniors. He has also served as President of the Atlanta Hawks.

Judi Sheppard Missett - Ms. Missett is the Founder and CEO of Jazzercise, Inc., a company with 6,800 instructors in 30 countries. She has been promoting physical fitness and health for almost 40 years. She continues to lead classes and spread her fitness enthusiasm through community-based projects, including raising $26 million for charity, her Kids Get Fit program, and the CyberStretch School Giveaway Program. She has received numerous awards for her entrepreneurial efforts, including induction into the Enterprising Women magazine Hall of Fame, Small Business Administration, IDEA Lifetime Achievement Award, and Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement in Business.

Joe Weider - At 87 years old, Joe Weider has been promoting strength and fitness since 1936. He oversaw a publishing empire that included Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Flex, Men's Fitness, Shape, Fit Pregnancy and Natural Health. He and his brother formed the International Federation of Bodybuilding in 1946. He created the Mr. Olympia contest, which Arnold Schwarzenegger won seven times. There are 170 countries affiliated with the IFBB, and it ranks as one of the world's top seven international sports federations. Mr. Weider is considered by many to be one of the pioneers in the field of strength conditioning.


Amy George
The Cooper Aerobics Center

Joey King
President's Council on Physical
Fitness and Sports
(202) 690-5181