JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Leonard Skinner, the basketball coach and gym teacher who inspired the name of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died on Monday in a nursing home here. He was 77.
He had Alzheimer’s disease, his daughter, Susie Moore, said in confirming the death.
Mr. Skinner, born Forby Leonard Skinner, was working at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville in the late 1960s when he sent a group of students to the principal’s office because their hair was too long. The students, including Ronnie Van Zant, later formed a band, using a variation of Skinner’s name for their own. Among its hits were “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Gimme Three Steps” and “Free Bird.”
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Leonard, We Hardly Knew Ye
Larry catches what must be today's most distinctive obit: