Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wham-O founder Richard Knerr is Gone-O

Richard Knerr, the man responsible for American classics like the Hula Hoop, Frisbee and other fads, has died at the age of 82.

Knerr, who started Wham-O in 1948 with his childhood friend Arthur "Spud" Melin, died Monday at Methodist Hospital after suffering a stroke earlier in the day at his Arcadia home, his wife Dorothy told the Los Angeles Times.

Knerr and Melin got their start in business peddling slingshots. They named their enterprise Wham-O after the sound a slingshot made when it hit its target.

They branched into other sporting goods, including boomerangs and crossbows, then added toys that often bore such playful names as the Superball, Slip 'N Slide and Silly String.

Here's hoping the UPA does the right thing and lowers all flags at this year's games to half-mast in memory of the man who made it all possible.

[Yahoo! News]

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