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Keith Hufnagel, skateboarding icon and streetwear founder, dies at 46

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(CNN)The world of skateboarding has lost an icon and entrepreneur with the death of Keith Hufnagel at the age of 46.

Hufnagel, the founder of the streetwear company Huf Worldwide, had been battling brain cancer for more than two years. His brand announced his passing on Thursday.

"We are absolutely heartbroken to deliver the news today that HUF founder Keith Hufnagel has passed away," the company wrote on Instagram.

"Keith was not only the 'HUF'nagel in HUF. He was the heart and soul of this brand. He built and brought together a community of people like no one else could," the post continued.

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We are absolutely heartbroken to deliver the news today that HUF founder Keith Hufnagel has passed away. Keith battled brain cancer for the past 2.5 years. And though he beat the odds and fought back much longer than his diagnosis permitted, he ultimately and unfortunately lost the fight. Keith was not only the ‘HUF’nagel in HUF. He was the heart and soul of this brand. He built and brought together a community of people like no one else could. Keith paved the way for all of us – as a respected professional skateboarder, shop owner, brand founder, footwear and apparel designer, creative director, and industry leader. He showed us how to do it, and how do it right. Keith loved skateboarding and the culture around it. He did things his way and did them for the right reasons. He inspired so many of us across the globe. But above anything else, Keith loved and supported the people around him. He would do anything for his friends, family and children. He passionately wanted to see others succeed. And we all loved him for it. Keith’s legacy will continue to live on at HUF. Today, tomorrow and forever. Rest in peace, Keith.

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CNN has contacted Huf Worldwide for a statement, but has not heard back.Hufnagel founded the brand in 2002 following his move from New York to the West Coast.

"The name HUF just stuck with me as a sort of nickname amongst my friends," Hufnagel told Complex in 2012. "Once I turned pro, I started using it on product and clothing and it became what people recognized me by," he said.

The brand's first shop opened in San Francisco, but ultimately grew globally, with stores everywhere from Dallas, Texas to Tokyo, Japan.

"Made by skateboarders, for skateboarders, HUF represents not only a more refined and forward-thinking skateboard brand, but also any individual inspired by the vast array of countercultures that parallel skateboard mentality," the company says of its ethos and origin.

"Do not settle for the status quo. Go out and create your own future -- do it yourself, do it in style," urges the HUF Worldwide website.

Hufnagel described the brand's name as having been "born on the streets," telling Complex, "after I had been living and skating in San Francisco for a bit, I decided I wanted to open up a retail shop that would sort of fuse skateboarding with the sneaker and streetwear scenes."

In the tribute to its founder, the Huf Worldwide instagram post closed by saying that Hufnagel's "legacy will continue to live on at HUF. Today, tomorrow and forever.

Rest in peace, Keith."Hufnagel leaves behind his wife Mariellen and their two children.

In an instagram post in November, Hufnagel shared a shot of himself with his son, as the pair hold hands and skateboard together down an empty road.

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