Tony Hawk's Bio
MEDIUM: Signed Birdhouse Skateboard
Tony Hawk was age 9 when his older brother gave him a blue fiberglass skateboard, chipped and scratched from years of use. The first time Tony stepped on it and rolled down an alley behind the family’s house in San Diego, there was no epiphany, no revelation … no foreshadowing whatsoever that he would go on to become the most famous skateboarder of all time. He reached the end driveway, looked back at his brother and shouted, “How do I turn?”
Eventually, of course, Tony learned to do more than merely turn. Practicing at the now-defunct Oasis Skatepark, the undersized prodigy soon began to attract attention by performing maneuvers well beyond his years. At age 12 he was winning amateur contests throughout California, at 14 he turned pro, and at 16 he was widely regarded as the best competitive skateboarder in the world. By the time he was 25, he’d competed in 103 pro contests, winning 73 of them and placing second in 19—a record that will almost certainly never be matched. He was crowned vertical skating’s world champion 12 years in a row.
Tony has won numerous awards, including Make-A-Wish’s Favorite Male Athlete, Teen Choice Awards’ Choice Male Athlete and Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards’ Favorite Male Athlete, beating out such sports icons as Shaquille O’Neal, Tiger Woods, and Kobe Bryant. From video games to skateboards to online media to clothing to world tours, Tony has dominated the Action Sports market with his laid-back style. He is the most recognized Action Sports figure in the world and, according to some marketing surveys, one of the most recognizable athlete of any kind in the United States.
Today, his business skills have helped create a Tony Hawk brand that includes a billion-dollar video game franchise, successful businesses such as Birdhouse Skateboards, Hawk Clothing, and the Tony Hawk Signature Series sporting goods and toys. Tony regularly appears on television and in films, as well as on Sirius XM radio. His autobiography, HAWK—Occupation: Skateboarder was a New York Times bestseller and is currently available in paperback. In 2010, Wiley Publishing released How Did I Get Here? The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO. During 2012, in partnership with Google, Inc. Tony’s film production company, 900 Films, launched RIDE Channel on YouTube, the world’s most popular video site, and has now teamed with Complex Media to take it to the next level with TheRideChannel.com.
Tony is a role model for fans of all ages. His Tony Hawk Foundation has given away over $5.2 million to 556 skatepark projects throughout the United States. Tony’s foundation helps finance public skateparks in low-income areas in all 50 states, providing a safe place to skate, and helping to build the self-confidence of youths from Marathon, Florida to Sitka, Alaska. Skateparks that received financial assistance from the Tony Hawk Foundation currently serve over 4.8 million kids annually.Visit Tony Hawk's Website »