Hawaii’s first World Surfing Champion Derek Ho passes away at 55


22 Apr 1997: Professional surfer Derek Ho surfs the Bonzai Pipeline in North Shore, Hawaii. Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Derek Ho, Hawaii’s first ever men’s professional world surfing champion, has died.

According to friends of the legendary surfer, the 55-year-old passed away on Friday afternoon, July 17, after suffering a heart attack.

[RELATED: Tribute to Derek Ho: ‘Pipeline Lost a King’]

In 1993, Ho became the first Hawaii native to claim a world championship under the banner of the Association of Surfing Professionals, which is now known as the World Surf League.

Ho is a four time Triple Crown champion having been etched his name into the trophy in 1984, 1986, 1988, and 1990. The Kailua High School graduate is also a a two-time winner of the prestigious Pipe Masters having claimed titles in 1986 and his world title season of 1993.

(L-R) Hawaii’s pro surfers Mason Ho, Bruce Irons and Derek Ho take part in the opening ceremony of the 2019 Eddie Aikau Big wave Invitational Surfing Event at Waimea Bay on the north shore of Oahu in Hawaii on December 5, 2019. (Photo by Brian Bielmann / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by BRIAN BIELMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Pro surfers and members of the surfing community began to express their aloha for the legendary surfer on Friday evening.

Stay with KHON2 on-air and online for more on the legendary Derek Ho.

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