• 'King of Random' YouTuber Grant Thompson dead in paragliding accident

    By: Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    ST. GEORGE, Utah - Grant Thompson, the YouTuber known as the creator and star of the popular channel "The King of Random" has died at age 38. The New York Times reported that his family announced he died in a paragliding accident in Utah.

    According to a Facebook post from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the St. George Emergency Dispatch Center got a call about of an overdue paraglider who was unable to be reached by cellphone.            

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    Thompson's brother told TMZ the YouTuber got into paragliding about five months ago and also enjoyed skydiving and flying.

    His YouTube channel started in 2010 and documented experiments, life hacks and random weekend projects -- the latter inspiring the name of the channel. Popular videos among its more than 11 million subscribers include "How to Make LEGO Gummy Candy," "How to Open Coconuts Without Any Tools," and "Self Freezing Coca Cola." 

    "The King of Random .. was actually a name given to me by friends of mine," Thompson said in a 2017 appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." "I kind of went through a phase where I  was really obsessed with random projects, experiments and life hacks, kind of, like, following my childhood dream to become like MacGyver." 

    Grant Thompson with "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon on August 18, 2017.
    Grant Thompson with "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon on August 18, 2017.
    Andrew Lipovsky/NBC via Getty Images

    In 2017, Thompson started collaborating with a new male co-host named Nate, who become the main host of the shows. Thompson ultimately stopped appearing in most videos in 2018 to spend more time with his wife and kids and work behind the scenes. In 2018, a female host named Cali joined the show in front of the camera. She and Nate have since appeared in "King of Random" videos together.

    "The King of Random" YouTube channel uploaded a silent one-minute video with an image of Thompson Tuesday.

    "It is with great sadness to inform everyone that Grant Thompson passed away last night," the caption for the video read. "Grant had great love and appreciation for his fans. We invite you to share your thoughts for Grant and the channel in the comments. Please do a random act of love or kindness today in honor of The King of Random. Grant’s legacy will live on in the channel and the global community he created."

    The same image and caption also appeared on the show's Instagram page.

    "We're deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Grant Thompson, a gifted, passionate and endlessly curious creator," YouTube tweeted Tuesday. "We send our deepest condolences to his loving family, The King of Random team and fans."

    Authorities recovered paragliding equipment and a video recording device. They will review the video to determine what may have led to the crash, the Sheriff's Office said.


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