Father of freestyle Irv Kagan dies


Father of freestyle Irv Kagan dies{mosimage}Irv Kagan, considered by many to be “the father of freestyle World Cup skiing” in this country, died Thursday. He was 76.

Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, Kagan graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He retired as president and CEO of Penobscot Shoe Co. in 1993, retired as chairman in 1999.

Kagan was a longtime trustee of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation and a former vice president and board member of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. He also was a USSA representative to the International Ski Federation and was instrumental in establishing the freestyle World Cup in the 1980s.

“Irv was ‘The Man’ in freestyle, not just in this country but a major figure internationally. He had a great international impact,” said Polly-Jo Clark, USSA freestyle program director. “He was chairman of our freestyle committee for years and developed our freestyle points list, which is the basis for our national rankings.

“Back in the day, when I was in Lake Placid and we were hosting the first freestyle World Cups, we always had to check with Irv. It may be a small calculation, or it might have been something else, but he was the go-to guy. He was Mr. Freestyle in so many ways,” Clark said. “We certainly send our condolences to [wife] Paula and his family.”

Kagan, who also was a founding trustee of Maine’s Carrabassett Valley Academy, also was a board member of the Sugarloaf Ski Education Foundation and the Sugarloaf Ski Club.

He is survived by his widow, Paula, and four children. Funeral services will be held Sunday at noon at the Beth Israel Synagogue, 144 York St., Bangor, Maine. Gifts may be made in his memory to the Irving Kagan Fund, c/o Eastern Maine Charities, Box 404, Bangor, ME 04402.

- Courtesy USSA News Bureau

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