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Volume 26 No. 231
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Jake Burton Carpenter, Snowboarding Pioneer, Dies At 65

JAKE BURTON CARPENTER, the "charismatic" Burton Snowboards founder, died at 65 yesterday from "complications from a second bout of cancer that he revealed to employees earlier this month," according to Jean Palmieri of WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY. Carpenter faced "several serious medical battles in the past, including a testicular cancer diagnosis" in '11. In '15, he was "immobilized by Miller Fisher syndrome, a rare form of Guillain-Barre syndrome." After "finessing his first snowboard in his Vermont barn" in '77, Carpenter "started his signature company, which has grown" into a $150M brand. He was "credited with championing the sport of snowboarding and helping it to become an Olympic sport beginning" at the '98 Nagano Games. A company spokesperson said that "no details on a memorial are available at this time" (WWD.com, 11/21). The AP's Eddie Pells writes Carpenter "brought snowboarding to the masses and helped turn the sport into a billion-dollar business." After quitting his job in N.Y. in '77 to form his company, his "goal was to advance the rudimentary snowboard, then called a 'Snurfer,' which had been invented" 12 years earlier. Now, it is "virtually impossible to avoid the name 'Burton'" on mountains around the world. The name is "plastered on the bottoms of snowboards, embroidered on jackets, stenciled into bindings." Burton "sponsored pretty much every top rider at one time or another," including SHAUN WHITE, KELLY CLARK and CHLOE KIM (AP, 11/21).