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Surfing Legend And Body Glove Founder Bob Meistrell Dies After Suffering Heart Attack On His Boat

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Bob Meistrell, a surfing and diving legend who co-founded Body Glove with his twin brother, Bill, died Sunday after suffering a heart attack.

The Daily Breeze reports that the 84-year-old Meistrell was on his boat, the Disappearance, on a return trip from Catalina Island. Fox News reported that both engines on his boat died and while he was trying to repair them, he had a heart attack and could not be revived.

Body Glove International President Russ Lesser wrote in an email, "His motto was 'Do what you love, love what you do.' He will be greatly missed."

The Meistrell brothers joined the Dive N' Surf shop in Redondo Beach in 1953 and became sole owners by 1957. They began designing, manufacturing and selling the first commercially viable neoprene wetsuits which they called "Body Glove." The company celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

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Bill Meistrell died in 2006 at the age of 77. Bob continued surfing and diving, including a 162 foot dive for his 81st birthday in 2009.

"To our knowledge, Body Glove is either the only original 'surf' company left that is still privately owned and operated by the family that started it, or one of very few," Lesser wrote in his email. "It is a shame that Bob will not be able to be with us during the 60th anniversary celebration."