Jeff Grosso, Legendary '80s Skateboarder, Dead at 51

Jeff Grosso, a legendary skateboarder who made a name for himself in the 1980s, has died. He was 51 years old. According to TMZ, Grosso died Tuesday at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California. The cause of death has not been announced and an autopsy is expected to be performed.

"Jeff went from number-one amateur to '80s superstar to cautionary tale and back again," Thrasher Magazine's Michael Burnett said. "His latest role as lovable curmudgeon, host of his own history-packed web series and keeper of skateboarding’s righteousness, unafraid to offend or annoy in his quest to educate, was by far his greatest – second only to being Oliver’s dad."

Grosso was beloved by stake legends, including Tony Hawk who is arguably the most popular skateboarder of all-time. When Hawk heard the news, he paid tribute to his friend.

"Jeff was a true skateboarder at his core, and a great wealth of entertainment, insight and valuable philosophy to a younger generation," Hawk said. "I was lucky enough to skate with him over the last four decades and occasionally featured on his Vans’ Love Letters series. One of the last times we spoke, we talked about how ridiculous it is that we still get to do this for a living and that anyone even cares what we do or think in terms of skateboarding at our age."

Hawk continued: "I believe Jeff is a big reason that anyone truly cares, and skateboarding was lucky to have him as an ambassador and gatekeeper to its history. He was also a great father, which is obvious in his last social media post. Thank you Jeff, words cannot describe how much we will miss you."

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Grosso was also the host of the YouTube series Loveletters to Skateboarding, which started in 2011. Grosso loved doing the show as it paid homage to some of the influential people in the industry.

"My goal for the show is for dudes to tune in, watch some old s—, have a laugh and get hyped to go skate with their friends," Grosso explained to King Skateboard. "If you tuned in and saw Mark Gonzales bluntslide on a curb or frontside invert on Max Schaaf's ramp hopefully you picked up the phone and called a friend to go skate. That's my hope for the show. We're not trying to be the Smithsonian of skateboarding. We're not trying to be fact; this is my version of skateboarding."