Don Waldo Autry worked as a hairdresser in Seal Beach, but skateboarders recognized the 55-year-old as a legend. He honed his skateboarding skills trying
Don Waldo Autry worked as a hairdresser in Seal Beach, but skateboarders recognized the 55-year-old as a legend. He honed his skateboarding skills trying out stunts in the Los Angeles River. Autry was found dead at his home. (Submitted photo)

SEAL BEACH — The Orange County Coroner's medical examiners are investigating the death of a 55-year-old skateboarding legend, authorities confirmed Monday.

Don "Waldo" Autry, a well-known skateboarder in the 1970 s who was featured in movies, magazines and books, was found dead in a van Wednesday in the 200 block of Main Street, said Gail Krause, an Orange County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman.

The van was parked near the Upstairs Downstairs Hair Salon, where Autry worked as a stylist, and was not far from Autry's Seal Beach home.

Friends of Autry credited him with being the first to perform many of the stunts now popular in the sport of skateboarding.

"Waldo was the legend of all skateboard legends," said Dave Hegstrom. "He is a pioneer of what extreme sport and skateboarding is today."

Friends said Autry died of natural causes.

Krause said Orange County Coroner's investigators have completed the autopsy but are awaiting the results of toxicology and other biological tests to determine the cause of death.

Those test results can take several weeks to process, she said.

tracy.manzer@presstelegram.com, 562-499-1261, twitter.com/tmanzer



Advertisement