Ken Block was one of the most famous racing drivers in the world thanks to his success with rally cars and his enthusiasm for social media. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
Rally car icon Ken Block died in a snowmobile accident on Monday. He was 55.
Block’s company Hoonigan Industries announced his death in a social media post. The Californian became one of the most famous racing drivers thanks to his rally car successes and was one of the co-founders of the DC Shoe Company.
“Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon,” the company’s statement said. “And above all, a father and husband. He will be missed incredibly. Please respect the family’s privacy at this time as they mourn.”
Block was snowmobiling in Utah on Monday. He posted footage on social media earlier in the day.
In addition to his rally cars, Block also competed in motocross and skateboarding. From 2005 to 2014 he had 16 wins in 60 Rally America starts and earned five X Games medals. Block finished third, second and third in rallycross at the X Games from 2006 to 2008. He is also one of only a handful of Americans to have scored points in the World Rally Championship.
While his success in motorsport was a big reason for his fame, his enthusiasm for social media made him a superstar. Block’s YouTube channel has nearly 2 million subscribers and he had over 7 million followers on Instagram. The videos from his Gymkhana video series are among the most popular motorsport videos on the internet.
After relationships with Ford and Subaru throughout his career, Block struck a deal with Audi in the fall to promote the automaker’s electric cars. His daughter Lia, 16, is a rally racer herself and competed in her first race at the age of 11. Lea has raced for her father’s Hoonigan Racing since the beginning of her career.