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Smith, Gene "Tarzan"


Pugnacious California-born surfer, described by The Surfer's Journal as "the greatest ocean paddler of the 20th century." Smith was born (1911), in San Francisco, the son of an abusive Hearst newspaper reporter and typesetter; his mother died in a horse-riding accident with Smith was seven. The family moved often, and Smith, made violent by his abusive father, spent part of his mid-teens in reform school.

After working as a logger in Oregon, Smith moved to Orange County, California, in the e...