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Tony Hawk          

Professional Skateboarder; Entrepreneur; NY Times Bestselling Author

Tony Hawk is a professional skateboarder, actor, and owner of Birdhouse, a skateboard company. He is widely considered to be one of the most successful and influential pioneers of modern vertical skateboarding.

On June 27, 1999, Hawk was the first skater to land a "900," a trick involving the completion of two-and-a-half mid-air revolutions on a skateboard; Hawk was successful on his twelfth attempt. In 2009, Hawk was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame at its inaugural ceremony. On June 27, 2016, at age 48, Hawk performed what he claimed will be his final "900."

In 1999, Tony teamed up with Activision to create the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game franchise. The Tony Hawk video game series went on to become one of the most popular game franchises in history.

Since the creation of the Tony Hawk Foundation in 2002, Tony has also been helping others experience the same excitement he did as a young skateboarder, learning to skate and building the self-confidence that resulted in his success. Designed to promote and help finance public skateparks in low-income areas, the Tony Hawk Foundation has given away over $5 million to aid in the creation of over 500 skatepark projects throughout the United States.

Hawk is also an advocate for research and awareness about Alzheimer's disease, which his mother, Nancy Hawk, suffered from.

Speech Topics

How Did I Get Here? The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO

He's the man who put skateboarding on the map. He's the first to land a 900 (two and a half full rotations). He's also among the richest pitchmen in any sport. And, in a sport that's especially youth-oriented, Tony Hawk, a 40-something father of four, still connects with his audience by staying true to who he is. Moving easily between the ramp and the boardroom, Tony currently runs one of the most acclaimed action sports companies, a clothing line, and video game series bearing his name that has sold over $1 billion worldwide, making it the biggest selling action sports game franchise in gaming history. With Tony's typical modesty and humor, he tells the amazing story of his unprecedented success from skateboarder to CEO. Starting his business out of the trunk of his car, he pledged to maintain authenticity in all he did, and it's served him well. He has a deep connection to his audiences, fans and customers. With over 3 million followers, Tony is as great example of the power of social media. Tony's story of building a global brand to giving back to community, his lessons of leadership, perseverance and initiative are relevant to any group. Even if they don't wear skinny pants and grind the rails in a skatepark.


Tony Hawk Foundation Aims To Raise $50,000 In June

Tony Hawk and the Tony Hawk Foundation are aiming to raise $50,000 in June to help build skateparks in communities that need them most.

Tony Hawk Shares His Personal Alzheimer's Story

I visited my mom today. She has 93 years of life behind her, but the last 10 have been increasingly corrupted by Alzheimer’s and dementia.

She was a secretary at a high school when I was young, later becoming a business teacher at a local college and eventually earning her doctorate in business education. She used to type so much that whenever we had a quiet moment together (usually in front of the TV), she would hold my hand and I could feel her fingers pulsating with keyboard strokes.

In other words, she was subconsciously dictating her thoughts and experiences through phantom keyboards in real-time. At first, it annoyed me to no end; fingertips were tapping away on me while I had to endure "60 Minutes" (her choice, of course). She was strong, vivacious, quick-witted, edgy and ultra supportive in those days.

When I see her now, she doesn’t recognize me. Sometimes there is a slight glimmer in her eye, sometimes she babbles incoherently, and sometimes she uncontrollably bursts into tears.

Today we mostly sat in silence. I gave her updates on our family and fed her Coca-Cola through a straw every few minutes (which she still loves, even through her catatonic condition). But then I noticed her fingers twitching. I’m not sure for how long; maybe they’d been moving the whole time and I wasn’t paying attention.

As I watched, I was reminded of her habit of typing unconsciously throughout my life. And even though it may have only been her body (yet again) betraying her, it gave me comfort knowing that perhaps she is still in there somewhere typing away about her life, her experiences, her feelings and our current conversation.

Most of my visits end with a feeling of despair and impending finality, but today I left with a sense of hope.

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