The Untold Truth About Ken Block’s Tragic Death At 55

March 22, 2024
6 mins read

Kenneth Paul ‘Ken’ Block was an American rally driver who competed professionally in numerous international motor and action sports, which includes competitive rally racing, snowboarding, skateboarding, and motocross.

While Ken may never have walked away with a championship title, or earned fame for being the strongest competitor in rally driving, the prolific stunt driver nonetheless became a familiar name among thousands of petrolheads and motorsports enthusiasts, and he did it in a very unique way.

Being most famous for his “Gymkhana” stunt driving video series on YouTube, Block earned his place in the hearts of many fans, boasting more than six million subscribers and followers.

Image source

However, famous as he might have been, the sensational driver had a long journey before becoming the adored motorsports idol many came to love over the years. With humble beginnings, Ken began his rally driving career as a rookie in 2005, but for many years before that, he struggled to find his place in the world.

Sadly though, Ken passed away in early 2023, and while the news of his untimely death is still fresh, fans are curious about what exactly happened to their beloved icon. With so much interest in Block, we’ll discuss the life and death of one of the world’s best-known rally drivers.

Ken’s Early Life and Rise To Fame

Born in California on 21 November 1967, Block’s earliest life remains an obscure mystery, as little is known about the man before he embarked on a career in motorsports.

However, it’s known that Ken once worked as an architectural draughtsman, drawing up plans for a private company, and also competed in several action sports events.


Around this time, Ken moved to Colorado where he became a self-confessed ‘Snowboard Bum’, but unfortunately, his hopes and dreams of becoming a professional snowboarder didn’t quite work out, forcing him to move back home to California.

There, Ken continued his studies at Palomar college, but never gave up on his passion for action sports, and would attend numerous events, including snowboarding competitions, and also skateboarding events, which is what led to Block’s earliest success.

At one of these skateboarding events, Ken met Damon Way, the brother of professional skateboarder, Danny Way, who was also a fellow student at Palomar, and formed a partnership with Damon to design footwear for professionals in the action sports scene.

For a short while, both Way and Block invested in several business ideas that didn’t quite pan out, but through determination and persistence, they eventually founded DC Shoes in 1994. At the time, Block had to borrow the start-up money from his parents, but it certainly paid off in the end.

In 2004, shortly before Ken moved on to the motorsports industry, Way and Block sold their DC Shoes for an incredible $87 million, subsequently marking the beginning of their earliest success. While Ken’s career in action sports might not have reached the heights he dreamed of, he certainly had no further need to fear financial restrictions for the remainder of his life.

It was while working as DC Shoes Chief Brand Manager, that Ken discovered a newfound passion for burning tyres and high-octane action. Working alongside many athletic all-stars on behalf of his company, which by 1995 turned $7 million in sales profit, Ken found the inspiration to stay in shape and practice so he could remain on their level.

Then, in 2004, Ken met professional rally driver, Travis Pastrana, and they became good friends. Pastrana eventually introduced Block to American Rally, and Block simply decided that he too wanted to compete.

At the age of 37, Ken took up rally driving lessons at Team O’Neal’s Rally School in New Hampshire, and after completing his training, entered his first competition in 2005. Ken’s natural talent for the sport was undeniable, and in no time he fell in love with the sport.

Competing at the Sno Drift event, Ken finished in seventh overall position, with his highest finish at the event in fifth place in the Group N Class, ultimately leaving his friend Pastrana in the dust. Block’s competitive edge and brilliant performance earned him the title of Rookie of the Year, and he would go on to compete in many other events.


Unfortunately, while Block would continue to be successful, earning sponsorships from Subaru, Ford, and in later years Audi, Block never brought home any significant championships.

However, Block did earn several podium finishes at the X-Games, which included several bronze medals and one silver, as well as reaching the top ten rankings in international competitions such as the MotoRally Championship, and MotoCross Championship.

In 2009, taking his marketing skills to the next level, Block began a campaign on YouTube to promote his rally brand ‘Hoonigan’ in a series of drifting stunt drives called ‘Gymkhana’, a style of driving known by various titles around the world, Britain as Autotesting, and down under it’s called Motorkhana.

Ultimately, exposure on social media earned Block exceptional renown, and over the years, Ken was featured in television programs such as “Top Gear”, as well as video games which include the “Drift” rally driving series, and the 2015 “Need For Speed Online” release.

As the years passed, Block continued to flourish, both on the rally circuit and online, and by 2015 began focusing all of his attention on the ‘Hooligan’ brand. In 2021, after driving under Ford Performance for many years, Ken jumped to Audi, driving for them until his untimely passing.

Throughout his career, Block also famously collected numerous cars, which included his famous Subaru models, but perhaps his best-known ride would be his 1965 Ford Mustang RTR V2, famously known as “ The Hoonicorn”, which featured heavily in Ken’s Gymkhana video series. Naturally, as can be expected, many of Ken’s famous rides were also featured in the video games, appearing alongside its driver.


The Truth About Ken’s Unfortunate Demise

On 2 January 2023, the sad news of Ken’s passing reached the world, shared by his many friends on social media, as well as the Hoonigan brand office, who announced public confirmation of Block’s unfortunate death.

Known mostly as a rally driver, Ken has always been an avid snowboarder, who even owned his own, personal snow skiing resort located on his Utah family ranch.

According to reports surrounding Block’s death, Ken was driving a snowmobile up a steep hill in Wasatch County, Utah when it overturned and landed on Block. According to the sheriff’s report, sadly Block was declared dead at the scene of the accident.

In the wake of his passing, numerous friends and fellow rally competitors shared their condolences with Block’s family and friends, expressing their grief, and saying that he will be dearly missed.

Many hailed Block as an influential figure of motorsports, as well as a beloved icon in the media world, that he will forever be remembered for the legacy he left behind.

Block is survived by his wife Lucy, and their three children, one of whom, Ken’s daughter Lia, might soon be following in her dad’s footsteps. Ken often hailed Lia as his prodigy, and gifted Lia her first car, a Ford Escort MK2 Rs, on her 13th birthday.


When Lia turned 14, her dad introduced her to Vaughn Gittin Jr, who took the day to teach Lia how to perform doughnuts in a car. Lia seems to be a natural behind the wheel, and learned how to drive in only a couple of hours.

In fact, Lia made her rally debut not too long ago, but fans are still wondering whether or not she will decide to enter the stunt driving profession as her late father did. Well, at least she made memories with her father, Ken, which she will certainly cherish for the rest of her life.

In the wake of Ken’s passing, Lia posted a heartfelt memorial message on social media, this only shortly after the father-daughter duo took to Instagram to promote a new series of videos in which Lia would buy and rebuild her first car, a 1985 Audi UR Quattro.

In her message, Lia hailed Ken not only as her beloved father, but referred to him as her best friend, and as the only person she ever looked up to. Needless to say, Ken will be dearly missed by his family.

While Ken will be missed, especially at the Gymkhana events, we wish the remaining Block family all the best, and in the wake of their mourning express our condolences. While his fans will definitely miss him too, they can always recap the memories he left behind on YouTube, and reminisce about the good times.

Martha Clifford

As an Author at Net Worth Post, I guide a dedicated team in the art of revealing the stories behind the world's most influential personalities. Fueled by a relentless curiosity and a knack for uncovering hidden stories, I immerse myself in the intricacies of our subjects' lives, weaving together accurate data and compelling narratives. My involvement spans the entire editorial process, from the seed of research to the final flourish of publication, ensuring that every article not only educates but also captivates and motivates our audience.

At Net Worth Post, we are committed to providing thorough investigations into the net worth and life achievements of innovators across diverse sectors such as technology, culture, and social entrepreneurship. My method merges meticulous research with eloquent storytelling, designed to bridge the gap between our readers and the remarkable individuals who redefine our tomorrow. Through spotlighting their journeys to success, the hurdles they've surmounted, and their contributions to society, we aim to give our readers a deep and inspiring insight into the luminaries who are paving the way for progress and ingenuity in the modern era.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss