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Leonard Skinner, inspiration for Lynyrd Skynyrd, dies at 77

September 20, 2010 |  1:35 pm

Leonard Skinner, the basketball coach and gym teacher who inspired the name of rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died Monday in Jacksonville, Fla. He was 77.

Skinner died in his sleep at the St. Catherine Laboure Manor, where he had been living for about a year, said his daughter, Susie Moore. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Skinner was working at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville in the late 1960s when he sent a group of students to the principal's office because their hair was too long. Those students later formed a band, using a variation of Skinner's name for their own.

Proving to be a good sport, Skinner allowed the band to use a photo of his Leonard Skinner Realty sign for the inside of their third album.

-- Associated Press