Carl Ronald Boenish
April 3, 1941
|Died|| (aged 43)|
|Spouse(s)||Jean Boenish (?–1984; his death)|
Carl Ronald Boenish (// BAY-nish; April 3, 1941 – July 7, 1984), considered the father of modern BASE jumping, was an American freefall cinematographer, who in 1978 filmed the first jumps from El Capitan using ram-air parachutes.
Boenish repeated his jumps, not as a publicity exercise or as a movie stunt, but as part of the development and popularization of BASE jumping as recreational activity, distinct from other disciplines of parachuting. This approach defined the modern sport of BASE jumping. Boenish helped popularize this sport by filming and presenting the footage. Boenish also published BASE Magazine to promote safety in this new sport.
Boenish's cinematography work included the 1969 John Frankenheimer parachuting film classic The Gypsy Moths, starring Burt Lancaster and Gene Hackman, and a National Geographic Explorer segment on jumps from El Capitan.
Boenish died in a BASE jump off the Stabben pinnacle in Trolltindane range (not Troll Wall proper) in Rauma, Møre og Romsdal, Norway, the day after completing a successful double BASE jump with his wife, Jean Boenish, for a Guinness World Records television special hosted by David Frost and young Kathie Lee Johnson, now Kathie Lee Gifford. Jean Boenish did another jump two days after the fatal jump.
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