Eastern Surf is sad to report legendary surfer Gary Propper has passed away in his sleep early Friday morning at 72 years young due to undisclosed health issues.
One of the top most respected and influential surfers ever from the east coast, Propper is not only known for his dynamic 60’s and early 70’s championship wave riding prowess but also for being our coast’s first true professional to make a living from the sport, showing the way for all others to follow, including Cocoa Beach’s other world renowned surf champion, Robert Kelly Slater.
Following his uber successful surfing career, he also became a giant in the entertainment industry, securing the film rights to the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” trilogy of movies, managing comedy acts such as Cocoa’s Carrot Top, Gallagher and Jon Lovitz and for helping the Canadian rockers Rush get their careers off the ground.
Upon hearing the sad news, Propper’s friend, fellow East Coast Surfing Hall Of Famer and Eastern Surf Magazine co-founder Tom Dugan observed, “He was so stoked on surfing and always had ideas to promote it as far as he could. Even though his back had now stopped him from actually being able to ride waves, the stoke and enthusiasm was never diminished. He was gearing up to run this year’s Easter Fest to bring it back to all its glory from years past and I for one was waiting to see what and where he would take it. Rest In Peace my friend”
No doubt the loss of Gary’s genuine, life long stoke, passion and influence will be sorely missed from the Easter contest, along with surfing in general and the right coast in particular.
Stay tuned to www.easternsurf.com early next week for an exclusive tribute feature documenting GP’s fabled career in his own words and a bonus photo gallery. – Mez –