This guy, right here in this photo, that’s Harold Hunter, a professional skateboarder turned actor from the 80’s and 90’s. Born and raised in East Village in 1974, he shared his love of the sport by hanging out with a local skate crew near Tompkins Square Park. That’s when he mastered his moves and skill from skateboard hops called the “Ollie” to high-flying backside heel flips. “From benches to stoops to staircases and building facades to handrails, the cityscape of Lower Manhattan became his skate park. He was a fixture in Washington Square, Union Square and Astor Place and at skating spots like the Brooklyn Banks, the concrete slopes under the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan”.
He was eventually sponsored by “Skate NYC” and later Zoo York and Rock Star Bearings. His huge, oversized personality won him roles in television and in a well-known 1995 movie, “Kids”, as well as a photo-spread and article in Thrasher magazine about the NYC skateboard scene. Hunter died from a heart attack at the young age of 31. A grassroots organization formed the Harold Hunter Foundation that raises money and awareness for young people to attend skate camp, stay out of gangs, maintain a healthy lifestyle, build character and instill values while introducing them to a spirit of community with opportunity and support. This year Hunter would be celebrating his 40th birthday, so in his honor, NYC has proclaimed today as “Harold Hunter Day” with contests, fundraising and celebration at the LES Coleman skatepark. So let’s get out there today and skate in remembrance of him…Harold Hunter…we will never forget you!