Leonard Skinner, The Inspiration For Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dies In SleepSeptember 21st, 2010 - 7:14 pm ICT by GD
By Madhuri Dey
Jacksonville, Sep 21, (THAINDIAN NEWS) The famous basketball coach and gym teacher Leonard Skinner who was the inspiration behind the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died on Monday at Jacksonville’s St. Catherine Laboure Manor. The news of the death of Leonard Skinner was confirmed to media sources by the former basketball coaches daughter, Susie Moore, who held that her passed away in his sleep. Leonard Skinner was 77 and was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for years. Leonard Skinner was leaving at St. Catherine Laboure Manor for about a year.
Leonard Skinner was the teacher who sent a group of students to the principal’s room for their donning long hairs at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville during the late 1960s. It was this group of boys who later went on to form a band and used the variation of Leonard Skinner’s name for their band. The Lynyrd Skynyrd band went on to become one of the famous bands of mid-1907s with songs like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird”. However, it was many years later that Leonard Skinner found the connection between his name and that of the band. During a 2009 media interview, the basketball coach maintained that he was not particularly tough on the band members during their school days as legends were growing. He held that keeping long hair was against the school’s rule and that is why he had to take such action.
As per media reports, Leonard Skinner after discovering the connection eventually made friends with many of the Lynyrd Skynyrd band members. The band not only performed at a Leonard Skinner owned bar but also were allowed to use a photograph of Leonard Skinner Realty sign for their album. Susie Moore on Monday said that his father “made a lot of new friends” due to his association with the band.
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Tags: band members, basketball coach, basketball coaches, dey, free bird, gym teacher, leonard skinner, long hair, long hairs, lynyrd skynyrd, lynyrd skynyrd band, madhuri, media interview, media sources, robert e lee, robert e lee high school, southern rock band, st catherine laboure, susie, sweet home alabama