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Patti McGee is one of the original legends of skateboarding. Born on August 23, 1945, Patti grew up in the San Diego surfing scene of the 1950s and ’60s, where she started surfing in 1958. Within a few years, whenever the surf was junk, surfers would continue their thrill seeking on a little four-wheel contraption called a skateboard. Joining the ranks of the wood-pushers in 1962, Patti got good fast, joining the Bun Busters team with her brother, Jack, and placing first in the women’s division at an early skateboarding contest at the Santa Monica Surf Fair, as well as first in women’s at the First Annual National Skateboard Championships on January 3, 1965. These feats earned her a spot on the newly-formed Hobie Super Surfer Skateboard Team, who sent her on a whirlwind national tour of department stores to perform skateboarding demos. As if that weren’t enough, Patti graced the cover of LIFE magazine in 1965, along with the cover of the fourth issue of Skateboarder Magazine.
Patti has also made numerous appearances on TV shows and in movies, including the What’s My Line? game show, the Mike Douglas talk show, as well as teaching Johnny Carson to skate on The Tonight Show. Patti’s last hurrah of the decade came about in early 1966 at the The Dick Clark World Teen Fair in Chicago, where, in between performances by some of the biggest rock bands of the day, she skated on stage in front of 45,000 kids. Fast forward to 2002, when, encouraged by David Hackett and Steve Olson, Patti started skating again at age 55! In subsequent years, she was honored by the Skateboard Moms during their annual Mighty Mama Skate-O-Rama, founded The Original Betty skateboards and acted as a brand ambassador for Silly Girl Skateboards. In 2010, Patti McGee was the first woman to be inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.