Jim Fixx, fitness enthusiast book author
April 23, 1932 – July 20, 1984
Fixx started running in 1967 at age 35. He weighed 240 pounds and smoked two packs of cigarettes per day. Ten years later, with his book, The Complete Book of Running, at 11 weeks No. 1 on the best-seller list, he was 60 pounds lighter and no longer a smoker.
Seventeen years later Fixx died at the age of 52 of a massive heart attack, following his daily run, on Route 15 in Hardwick, Vermont. Autopsy revealed that atherosclerosis had blocked one coronary artery 95%, a second 85%, and a third 50%. Running critics claimed his death was proof running was harmful. But running advocates argued that Fixx possessed a poor health histories. His father suffered a heart attack at the age of 35 and later died of another heart attack at age 42. Comparing Jim Fixx’s longevity to his father’s, many argued that running added years to his life.