ARCADIA, Calif. -- Richard Knerr, a co-founder of the company that turned
the Hula Hoop and Frisbee into beloved toys, has died. He was 82.
Knerr's wife told The Los Angeles Times that her husband died at a hospital
Monday after suffering a stroke at his home in Arcadia, Calif.
Knerr and childhood buddy Spud Melin started a slingshot-selling
business in 1948 and called their company Wham-O after what they
said was the sound of something hit by a slingshot.
Ten years later, Wham-O devised its own version of an Australian
exercise ring and called it the Hula Hoop. Around the same time,
the company bought the rights to a plastic flying disc called the
Pluto Platter. They renamed it the Frisbee, and the rest, as they
say is outdoor fun history.
Wham-O added other toys to its line including the Superball, the
Slip 'N Slide and Silly String.
Melin died in 2002 at 77.
In an interview back in 1994, Knerr said his company contributed "fun" to America.