Jack Haley "1999 Local Hero"

Mythological figure who helped pioneer surfing in Orange County during the 1940's and 1950's

PHOTO: Courtesy of LeRoy Grannis

Seal Beach’s Jack Haley actually perfected his surfing in the waves of Huntington Beach. He holds the title of the first-ever winner of the West Coast Surfing Championships held at Huntington Beach in 1959. His brother Mike Haley won the event the following year. 

Known to friends as “Mr. Excitement,” Haley was extremely successful in many facets of life — he opened Jack Haley Surfboards in Seal Beach in 1961, and four years later opened the still-popular restaurant Captain Jack's in Sunset Beach. Sadly, he passed away in 2000 after battling with cancer. His son, Jack Jr., played two seasons of professional basketball with the Los Angeles Lakers.