Skateboarding Icon Commits Suicide

Eric Swenson shot himself in front of SF police station
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2011 2:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – The skateboarding world is mourning a man who played a major role in creating the huge subculture that exists today, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Thrasher magazine co-founder Eric Swenson shot and killed himself in front of the Mission police station in San Francisco. Friends believe the 64-year-old could no longer cope with the pain from a debilitating motorbike injury he suffered years ago, and chose the police station to spare loved ones from finding his body, reports the San Francisco Examiner.

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Swenson, an accomplished mechanic, helped revive the skateboarding scene in the late '70s with a company making skateboarding equipment, clothes, and accessories. He founded Thrasher in 1981 with his friend Fausto Vitello. "Before Thrasher, skateboarding was just another trend like yo-yos, rollerblades and hula hoops. But now it had its own music, dialect and its own fashion style," the magazine's ad director tells the Examiner. (Read more Eric Swenson stories.)

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