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Stuart Crump

The following is adapted from Joe Mitchell's essay on Stuart Crump, Jr. as Grand Marshal to the 2003 World Yo-Yo Contest:

Stuart Crump, Jr. is best known in the yo-yo community as "Professor Yo-Yo", the editor of "Yo-Yo Times" the longest running yo-yo periodical. Like many kids of the 1950s, Stu was introduced to yo-yos by a professional demonstrator. But he didn't meet the yo-yo man at a contest or school demonstration. On a family vacation to Charleston, SC, the Crumps had the good fortune to be staying four doors down from Joe Radovan, owner of the Royal Yo-Yo Company. The year was 1954, and every night found Stu and his brother watching in amazement as Radovan worked the yo-yo. Stu bought his first yo-yo at a corner store that summer: a three-jewel Royal that cost 20 cents. Radovan carved an island scene on it and encouraged the boys to learn the basic tricks.

After returning home, Stu was pleased to find that girls noticed his new yo-yo skill, but gradually the toy moved to the back burner until 1960. That year, a Duncan professional came to town and inspired a mini-craze. Then Stu put his yo-yo back in the drawer until 1972, when he received a silver Gorham yo-yo as a wedding present from his brother.

In 1980, the Crump brothers started an important newsletter "Cellular Radio News," serving the fledgling cell phone industry. Stu was promoting the highly successful newsletter at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in 1985, when he saw the Smothers Brothers perform. Tom Smothers had just incorporated the Yo-Yo Man routine into his act and Stu’s interest was aroused again. In 1987, he was given a newly-released Tom Kuhn Silver Bullet as a gift. A call to Tom Kuhn resulted in a discussion of the need for communication among yo-yo enthusiasts. Thus the idea for the "Yo-Yo Times" newsletter was born.

In 1988, the first issue was published. Its yellow pages contained new tricks, interviews with yo-yo players and manufacturers, new product announcements, contest news, ads for videos and string. In other words, it was everything a player needed to know and the newsletter rapidly became the glue binding together a newly-active yo-yo community. "Yo-Yo Times" was critical to bringing together the people and publicizing the events that have built yo-yo into the worldwide sport and activity it is today.

Beyond his newsletter, Stu promoted yo-yoing through writing several books including "It’s Yo-Yo Time" and "The Official Yomega Trick Book." He competed in many contests, even winning the Advanced Senior Division at the World Yo-Yo Contest in 1995. And most personally, he performed as a yo-yo entertainer to groups across the country. He was particularly keen to introduce the toy to young people, saying, "I didn't realize the impact the yo-yo had on me as a child until I was an adult."

Stu passed away on December 31st, 2014 at the age of 69, after more than two decades of battling with Parkinson's disease. He is survived by his wife, Peggy Crump, and their three sons, and Stu's daughter from a previous marriage, Jodi Crump Beatty. Stu's own dad, Stuart Crump, Sr., also survives him.

Achievements

Publications

1995

2003

External Links

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