Last month, on his 86th birthday, skydiving legend Lew Sanborn once again made history. His goal of skydiving in all 50 states was met when he tackled his final state – Hawaii. Sporting a red flight suit, Sanborn took the plunge at Skydive Hawaii in Waialua with a beautiful backdrop of the north shore of Oahu and the Hawaiian landscape. Oahu is somewhat of a mecca for skydiving enthusiasts, so it’s no surprise that Sanborn wanted to end his 50-state skydiving tour at this landmark location.
Sanborn was born in 1930 in Cleveland, Ohio and started doing parachuting jumps in 1948. He has been an innovator and a record-setter in the industry ever since. His formal skydiving career started in the army when he did his first free fall as an Army Sergeant back in 1950. Sanborn was a high scorer for the US at the Third World Parachuting Championships in Moscow, Russia in 1956. In 1959, he co-founded Parachutes Incorporated as the first commercial parachuting center in the United States. In 2001, he set a Skydivers Over Sixty World Record at Skydive Elsinore, and most recently set the record for having skydived for the longest number of years straight, tallying up an impressive 68 years in the sky.
Sanborn was the very first person to be officially licensed by the United States Parachute Association. As an accomplished pilot, skydiving champion, and Hall of Fame skydiver, there’s no telling where his next jumps and next records will be set.