12 months ago
Surfer Magazine founder John Severson died in his sleep Friday night, the publication announced over the weekend.
He was 83.
Severson, who learned to surf at the age of 13 in his native San Clemente, Calif., was at the crest of a wave of surfing filmmakers in the late ’50s and early ’60s. He helped bring the sport to the big screen and thus into popularity, with films like Surf Fever and Going My Wave.
He parlayed that modest success into surf publishing, with a magazine called The Surfer in 1960—which would evolve into the staple of the sport it is today.
“In this crowded world,” Severson wrote in the first issue of Surfer, “the surfer can still seek and find the perfect day, the perfect wave, and be alone with the surf and his thoughts.”
We are deeply saddened to report that the founder of SURFER magazine, and the father of modern surf culture, John Severson, passed away last night at the age of 83. An incredibly talented surfer, writer, editor, filmmaker, photographer, and artist, Severson was surfing’s original renaissance man, and one of the most influential surfers of all time. His endless passion inspired generations of surfers, writers, and artists alike, and he will be dearly missed. Our deepest condolences to the Severson family. Rest In Peace, John. Photo: Ron Stoner