Leonard Skinner, Teacher Who Inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd Band Name

Forby Leonard Skinner (January 11, 1933 – September 20, 2010) was an American high school gym teacher, basketball coach, realtor and bar owner from Jacksonville, Florida. He gained fame in the 1970s as the namesake of the influential Southern rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

On September 20, 2010, Skinner died at a nursing home in Jacksonville, at age 77 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for several years. At the time of his death, The New York Times called him "arguably the most influential high school gym teacher in American popular culture." The Florida Times-Union  called him "the no-nonsense, flattopped basketball coach and gym teacher whose name is forever linked with Jacksonville’s legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd."

The name "Leonard Skinner" also appears (by coincidence) in the lyrics of Allan Sherman’s "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" (1963). Skinner was one of a number of Sherman’s camp bunkmates at Camp Granada who suffered from some calamity during the course of the song.