If skateboarding were a religion, then Tony Hawk would have unquestionably been its patron saint. The Southern California-raised athlete rose to prominence in the 1980s as a young skateboarder who not only excelled in the sport, but also helped turn it into a nationally enjoyed pastime. Hawk made skateboarding history in 1999 when he became the first athlete to successfully land a difficult trick called "The 900," which required a difficult two-and-a-half aerial turn, and managed to be the only person to do so for several years. Hawk gained mainstream appeal, thanks to multi-million dollar endorsement deals, successful video games, and apparel ventures, as well as appearances in films such as the big-budget action thriller "xXx" (2002) and the independent drama "Lords of Dogtown" (2005). In 2000, Hawk released his autobiography <i>HAWK - Occupation: Skateboarder</i>, where he chronicled his humble beginnings and talked about his journey toward becoming one of the skateboarding world's most successful and revered pioneers.