Jeff Grosso: 5 Things About Skateboarding Legend Dead At 51

Jeff Grosso, one of the biggest skateboarders in the 1980s, reportedly died at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA at the age of 51. Here are five things you should know about him.

View gallery
Image Credit: Courtesy of Vans/YouTube

Jeff Grosso, 51, a skateboarding legend who was extremely popular in the 1980s, sadly died at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA on Mar. 31, according to law enforcement who spoke to TMZ. The heartbreaking news was first confirmed by Thrasher Magazine‘s Michael Burnett on the same day it happened. “Today we have the terrible task of saying a heartbreaking goodbye to beloved verticalist, commentator and friend of the mag, Jeff Grosso,” Michael said.

The cause of Jeff’s death is still not known and there is an autopsy pending but he’s survived by his son Oliver, 8. “Jeff went from number-one amateur to ’80s superstar to cautionary tale and back again,” Michael continued to say in the announcement of Jeff’s death. “His latest role as lovable curmudgeon, host of his own history-packed web series and keeper of skateboarding’s righteousness, unafraid to offend or annoy in his quest to educate, was by far his greatest – second only to being Oliver’s dad. He will be sorely, sorely missed. Our hearts go out to his family and many friends. RIP.”

Here are five things you should know about Jeff and his successful skateboarding career.

1.) His skateboarding skills led to exciting projects. After first rising to fame in the 1980s, he went on to host Vans’ Love Letters to Skateboarding, in which he paid homage to some of the most influential people in skateboarding. The show was on YouTube with the last episode being published on Mar. 12.

2.) After his death many celebs, including fellow skateboarding legend, Tony Hawk, paid tribute. “Jeff was a true skateboarder at his core, and a great wealth of entertainment, insight and valuable philosophy to a younger generation,” Tony wrote in the caption for a vide of a happy Jeff he posted on Instagram. “I was lucky enough to skate with him over the last four decades and occasionally featured on his Vans’ Love Letters series. One of the last times we spoke, we talked about how ridiculous it is that we still get to do this for a living and that anyone even cares what we do or think in terms of skateboarding at our age. I believe Jeff is a big reason that anyone truly cares, and skateboarding was lucky to have him as an ambassador and gatekeeper to its history. He was also a great father, which is obvious in his last social media post. Thank you Jeff, words cannot describe how much we will miss you.”

3.) He’s been open about his struggles with substance abuse in the past. The skateboarder admitted to having issues with pain pills and heroin and revealed he overdosed three times before 2012. He told Transworld Skateboarding that he was technically dead on arrival with no vital signs after overdosing from heroin on three separate occasions but by 2012, he was happily seven years sober.

4.) He made one appearance in the X Games. He finished fourth in the Skateboard Park Legends event at the X Games 16 in 2010.

5.) The last Instagram video he posted showed him dancing with his son. Jeff would post on the social media site regularly and in the adorable clip, which he shared on Mar. 30, he and Oliver can be seen doing silly dance moves together in a living room as Oliver laughed. “That’s how it goes, everybody knows…#odetoduane,” Jeff captioned the clip.

Our healing comfort and wishes go out to all those affected by Jeff’s death.

More From Our Partners