Tony Hawk is a retired legendary professional skateboarder that is widely considered as one of the best, if not the best, skateboarder ever. The twelve-time National Skateboard Association world champion is best known for his outrageous and impressive technically demanding stunts, one of which is the two-and-a-half revolution aerial spin performed mid-air called the 900.Hawk, who has gone ahead to launch a multi-million dollar business empire from what started as a hobby, became the first person to be inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame at its inaugural ceremony in 2009. He has also been able to give back to society by building skateparks in underprivileged areas through his Tony Hawk Foundation.
Tony Hawk was born Anthony Frank Hawk on the 12th of May 1968 in San Diego, California where he was raised. His parents are mother Nancy Elizabeth, a part-time business teacher and father Frank Peter Rupert Hawk, a retired U.S. Navy officer and small appliance salesman.
As a child, Hawk was described as being very hyperactive and with behavior problems, which made him a terror to both his parents, teachers, and babysitters. His parents feared that their son had a psychological disorder so they took him to be evaluated, only to find out that he was a gifted child with an IQ of 144. They subsequently introduced him to skateboarding as a way to let out his excess energy, a move that proved to define their son’s life. His father built a ramp in the backyard of their home and got him an old skateboard where Hawk spent at least six hours a day practicing.
When Tony Hawk outgrew the ramp, he began practicing at skateparks near his home where he usually stood out among other skaters even though he was always the youngest. Hawk developed his skills to become a professional skateboarder at the young age of fourteen. As a high schooler attending Torrey Pines High School, Hawk was reportedly earning around $100,000 a year which came from endorsements, appearances, and winnings from skating competitions.
Tony Hawk earned himself the nickname Birdman because he loved to perform high-flying acrobatics that made him very popular. He won competitions all across the globe which cemented him as the best skater in the world. This title was backed by him being officially named the National Skateboard Association world champion for twelve consecutive years.
Hawk soon after began to appear in movies as he went into other ventures such as starting a skateboarding company called BirdHouse, with fellow professional skateboarder Per Welinder and a video game series.