For those not all that familiar with skateboarding as a sport, this might come as a surprise, given some of the athletes he came in ahead of--football star Peyton Manning, basketball prodigy LeBron James, and NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt Jr.
But to the millions of people who have played any of the 10 Tony Hawk video games, the Forbes honor surely came as no surprise. After all, those games have become one of the most successful video game franchises of all time, cementing the Hawk legend that began more than 20 years ago on the asphalt of Southern California. He retired from skateboarding nearly 10 years ago at the age of 31.
These days, Hawk, 40, is working on a new iteration of the game franchise, even as he promotes skateboarding and action sports in general, and puts much of his effort into his Tony Hawk Foundation, which has helped build nearly 400 skate parks in disadvantaged communities around the United States.