RIP: Kurt “Mellow Cat” Ledterman

by The Editors on March 6, 2015


We knew him best from Ted Richards serialized comic Mellow Cat which appeared in Skateboarder Magazine from 1978 to 1981, but those who knew Kurt Ledterman as the editor at Surfer Magazine (and brains behind Skateboarder) remember a charming, kind, intelligent man, according to a remembrance from legendary photographer Jeff Devine on Ledterman was 69.

He treated all contributors during his reign as an editor at SURFER—and also as an integral part of Skateboarder—with a politeness that many still remember. He loved jazz and obscure rock. He would formally invite you to drive him up the hill to his house on Soledad Mountain to enjoy an obscure background-drumming lick on the latest T. Rex album, piped through his parents’ stereo. Over and over. His mom described his informal group of musician friends as, “better than a barking dog.” . . . As editor at SURFER, he filled and stylized the magazine with his verbal accounts and captions. Publisher Steve Pezman once called him the soul of the magazine. “Kurt’s stretch at SURFER and Skateboarder would become an indelible part of the lore of both magazines,” he says. Surfers from Malibu to San Diego knew and loved him. Seeing him actually surf only added to the respect.

We know that Ledterman’s contributions to Skateboarder created delight in the minds of young readers and inspired them to find more in the magazines than simply photos and stories. Our thoughts are with Kurt’s family and friends. Radical-mon. . .

[Link: Surfer Magazine]

m_estes March 6, 2015 at 7:05 pm

My sincere condolences.

Laurry Harmon September 1, 2023 at 11:42 am

Kurt and his family were neighbors of my family in Altadena, California, and Kurt was a real friend of mine. I saw him as he grew up, and I was privileged to watch him as he matured. My family and I were friends with Kurt, his parents, and his sisters through Kurt’s growing-up years, and It’s a pleasure to be able to see from this website how he matured. He was, as is clear from this website, a unique and uniquely special young man. Blessings for all who did the work for the website and provided this memory of Kurt Ledterman.

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