Grosso was an Arcadia native who rose to fame as a professional skateboarder in the late 1980s and later became a beloved ambassador for the sport through his YouTube show, his mentorship of younger pro skaters and his public reflections on battles with drug addiction. He died at the age of 51 at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. His death on March 31, 2020, was caused by “acute polydrug intoxication” from the combined effects of fentanyl and phenobarbital, according to an autopsy report.
“His legacy will always be his passion for skateboarding,” said Christian Hosoi, a longtime friend of Grosso who has since become a pastor.
Fellow skater Lizzie Armanto said she will always remember Grosso for “sticking up for what he thinks is right and what’s important in skateboarding. He was always like advocating for quality control.”
“He was definitely an inspiration for a new generation, in terms of how to respect your culture,” Hawk said. “The fact that he got clean, he was in recovery, people saw that as hope, especially people struggling with the same issues. But I liked that he wasn’t preaching only that. He weaved that into his narrative, but it wasn’t all he represented.”