BSBD Ted Strong

Ted Strong, 1936-2011

Ted Strong, owner of Strong Parachutes and one of the sport’s giant figures, has died. From

Ted Strong D-16 4/7/1936-10/14/2011

A visionary from the beginning and a man with an enormous heart passed away on Friday.

There are too many stories to write about the legend that is Ted Strong. Ted strived to improve the industry that he loved without seeking fame or credit. He just wanted a safer and more inviting environment for everybody to enjoy and experience skydiving the way he did.

Ted Strong started skydiving in 1958, entered the US Army in 1959 with 100 jumps, and was stationed at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY for two years.  His duty there was to coach the USMA Cadet Parachute Team and the West Point Sport Parachute Club. In 1961 Ted started Strong Enterprises, a parachute company in his parents basement. He began by modifying round parachutes, sewing and making anything his friends needed to skydive. A friend once said “ Ted Strong’s company wasn’t there to make money, but to make parachutes for his friends” This quote personified Ted.

The industry and the world has lost a wonderful person and those that knew him will miss him dearly. Those that never had the pleasure of meeting him will feel his influence anytime they make a skydive.

PD New Beginning

Ted was awarded the USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service in 2002, “For almost a half-century of contribution to the skydiving community as a competitor, a sponsor of numerous US parachute teams, and, most notably, his unique innovation in parachute equipment design including the tandem skydiving system and its importance to the growth of the sport in general and USPA in particular.” [USPA] He was inducted into the National Skydiving Museum’s Hall of Fame last year.

Blue skies, Ted. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Strong family and the many, many people whose lives he touched.


  • Jumping with Ted was a treat. Especially at Sun and Fun on Lakeland with the big Flag and at Nite. He summed it up in one Word. WOW! Blue Skies, Free Flyer.

  • such a true Pioneer in our sport…  I never met Ted, but knew of him through a friend that was working with ted on many projects,  it was always exciting to hear of the projects they were working on…..this sport has lost a great man.  blue skies

  • Ted, RIP , your parachutes have saved my life more times than I can remember, you will be missed always
    A great lost to not only the sport but to all who knew you, 
    Fred Patterson

  • Ted,  We will keep you alive in our stories and conversations.  Thanks for your help with STRATOS.  You are a great man that will continue to be around with all of us.

    Art Thompson

  • Ted Strong; a nice and valued person, a good guy, honest, intelligent, innovative, ever active.
    From a long ago mate, Rest in Peace.
    Condon McDonough

  • Just talk to him last Tuesday and needed a favor to Repair a Calopso ships’ flag.
    Just like him he got one of his seamstress riggers to sew it emediately . I have know him for many years and professionaly serviced and sold him his Apple Computers. 
    Jim Sander

  • He will be sorely missed by so many. I am greatful for having had the opportunity to get to know him. Blue Skies, Ted.

  • My relationship with Ted goes back to 1986 and I have had the pleasure of staying at his home and he at mine. Knowing Ted is one of the true pleasures in my life and I will always miss him. It has been all too short my friend, fair well D-16.

  • Chopper
    Ted we go back to 1986 when he developed harrness for the Orange County Sheriffs Office. They have been the Best for swat. if you ever wanted to stop in and say hello to Ted If he was around,you were welcome.Ted you were the great poineer of the sport.Many blue skies. Bless your family and all that new him.He will be greatly missed and watching us all with a Chuckle.

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