Art was only the third of Hammer's priorities in life, with the search for world peace and a cure for cancer taking precedence. Asked during a recent interview in Los Angeles how he did it all, Hammer offered his recipe for an active, healthy life at 92.
"I get up early in the morning, when my mind is fresh, and I jot down all the things I want to do that day. I get up for the first time at 4 a.m. because I want to weigh myself. I take my pajamas off and weigh myself in the nude, and watch my weight every single day. I've had a weight problem, and have tried every diet I know. Until I hit on my own diet: One big meal a day. I find that one meal a day is all we really need.
"My breakfast is always the same: Orange juice, sometimes a half of grapefruit, when it's in season; and four prunes, hot, because that helps my stomach. Then I have Kellogg's Bran Flakes for roughage, with skim milk. My doctor, from UCLA, wanted me to take All-Bran, but I couldn't take it. Bran Flakes is a compromise, so you get enough roughage and it tastes good.
"Then I have either tea or cappuccino, decaf, made with hot skim milk. And bread."
It sounded like a diet for everyman -- except for the bread.
"I have an Italian baker around the corner from where I live in New York, in the Village," Hammer said. "Whole wheat Italian bread from Zito's. I have it flown in."
He may have lived simply but he lived well.