From Rocketry Planet comes the sad news that Paul Robinson, co-owner of Animal Motor Works, has passed away from Pancreatic cancer at 58.
Although he didn't invent the sparky motor (aka Skidmark ™), he was a major force in popularizing it, as well as making it safe enough to earn fire marshall approval. While I've never flown a skidmark myself, I probably will at some point in the fairly near future, and I'll be able to because of his contributions.
He also introduced several propellant mixes to the market, including Green Gorilla and several high-performance white blends, which contributed greatly to the huge variety of motors available today. He also initiated a partnership with Cesaroni, which has helped bring a number of Animal blends including sparkies to the ProX line.
According to the thread on Rocketry Planet, he was a great guy and fun to be around, as well as a great businessman who suceeded in a very competitive industry. His partner at AMW, Robert DeHate, says that he'll certainly continue Robinson's visions and keep AMW going.
He is survived by a sister, Gloria Woodman.