Richard Knerr, co-founder of Wham-O Inc., which unleashed the granddaddy of American fads, the Hula Hoop, on the world half a century ago along with another enduring leisure icon, the Frisbee, has died. He was 82.
Knerr died Monday at Methodist Hospital in Arcadia after suffering a stroke earlier in the day at his Arcadia home, said his wife, Dorothy.
With his boyhood best friend, Arthur "Spud" Melin, Knerr started the company in 1948 in Pasadena. They named the enterprise Wham-O for the sound that their first product, a slingshot, made when it hit its target.
"A sad day...Wham-O - just the name seems like fun, and the products were a blast."