Thomas F. Taylor, a renowned skateboarder, entrepreneur, and loving father, passed away on February 22, 2023, in Atlanta. He was 56 years old. His death has shocked and saddened the skateboarding community and his family and friends. How did Thomas Taylor die? What was his legacy? Here is what we know so far.
The Mysterious Circumstances of His Death
The cause of Thomas Taylor’s death is still unknown. His family has confirmed the tragic news of his passing, but they have not revealed any details about how he died. According to Venturejolt, some reports said that Thomas Taylor died by suicide, but this has not been officially confirmed1. His death remains a mystery for now.
Thomas Taylor is survived by his mother Virginia Smith Taylor, his siblings Anne Taylor Hendry and Steve Hendry, niece Isabella V. Hendry and Tim Burke, uncle Allen C. Smith and Becky Rhodes Smith, cousins, and a large number of friends and supporters. He also leaves behind his children Grant M. Taylor (Lilly Morgan Taylor), McKenzie E. Taylor, and Sarah C. Taylor, as well as his grandchildren Colette and Jesse Taylor. His father, Thomas Edwin Taylor, died before him.
The Impact of His Life on Skateboarding
Thomas Taylor was born on August 24, 1966, and was a native of Atlanta. He started skateboarding at the age of 8 and became a skilled and influential skater in the Southern scene. At the age of 18, he founded and operated Stratosphere in Morningside, the city’s first skater-owned skateboard store, before moving it to Little Five Points. Stratosphere was more than a skateboard shop – it was a community center and gathering place, supporting and hosting various skateboard events, charity fundraisers, and exclusive product releases.
Thomas Taylor had a significant role in the development of skateboarding in Atlanta and beyond. He helped create the Southern skateboarding heritage and culture with his DIY attitude of “do it yourself, let’s ride.” He built ramps and skateparks with his friends and inspired generations of skaters with his passion and creativity. He also collaborated with the International Olympic Committee to showcase skateboarding at the closing ceremony of the Atlanta Games in 1996.
In 2015, he produced the documentary Lost in Transition, which tells the story of how he and his pals started the Southern skateboarding tradition and highlights their achievements and challenges. The documentary features interviews with legendary skaters such as Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, Tommy Guerrero, Rodney Mullen, Christian Hosoi, Mark Gonzales, Jason Lee, Chris Miller, Neil Blender, John Cardiel, Julien Stranger, Rick Howard, Mike Carroll, Eric Koston, Ed Templeton, Jamie Thomas, Geoff Rowley, Arto Saari, Bob Burnquist, Danny Way, and many more.
The Legacy He Left Behind
Thomas Taylor was a legend in the skateboarding world and a beloved figure in the Atlanta community. He touched many lives with his kindness, generosity, and humor. He was a devoted father to his children and a proud grandfather to his grandchildren. He was also a mentor and friend to many skaters who looked up to him for guidance and inspiration.
Thomas Taylor will be remembered for his contributions to skateboarding history and culture, as well as for his personal qualities that made him a great human being. He will be missed by many who knew him and admired him.
Rest in peace, Thomas Taylor. You will never be forgotten.