Google
By Joanna Plucinska
August 24, 2015

Monday’s Google Doodle wants to wish a big happy birthday to Duke Kahanamoku, the father of surfing.

Known as the Ambassador of Aloha, Kahanamoku traveled the world, bringing surfing to the likes of California, Australia and New Zealand over his lifetime. Aug. 24 marks what would’ve been Kahanamoku’s 125th birthday — he passed away in 1968.

On his native Hawaii, Kahanamoku was known for much more than just riding waves. He first built his reputation as a swimming champion, winning five Olympic medals over the course of his career. His success also enabled him to raise the profile of Hawaii’s true passion of surfing.

Kahanamoku was also elected the sheriff of his home county 13 times and starred in over a dozen movies. Most importantly, he is credited with helping the Hawaiian islands achieve statehood in 1959.

For Monday’s Google Doodle, illustrator Matt Cruickshank decided to honor Kahanamoku’s birthday by sketching his 16-ft. wooden surfboard along with a friendly likeness of the icon’s face.

Read next: How Duke Kahanamoku Saved Lives With His Surfboard

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