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Skynyrd name inspiration dies at 77

  |   Sept. 22, 2010 at 1:40 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd says the man for whom the U.S. group was named, Leonard Skinner, has died at age 77.

Skinner, a gym teacher, died early Monday, CNN reported. No cause of death was reported.

"Coach Skinner had such a profound impact on our youth that ultimately led us to naming the band, which you know as Lynyrd Skynyrd, after him," Gary Rossington, guitarist and a founding member of the band, said in a posting on the group's Web site. "Looking back, I cannot imagine it any other way. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

Formed in the 1970s, the band is best known for its classic songs "Freebird" and "Sweet Home Alabama."

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