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The long, strange tale of Ron DiMenna

The founder of the Ron Jon surf shops is one of the sport's most reclusive pioneers

Updated: September 19, 2011, 8:11 PM ET
By Matt Higgins | ESPN.com

The legend says he's as camera-shy as Bigfoot, or Banksy. A rap sheet tells of a taste for fast living. The rumors? Oh, boy, where to begin … Let's start with a story about a surf mogul who hates publicity.

It was 1988, and Ron DiMenna, founder and owner of Ron Jon Surf Shop -- "The World's Most Famous Surf Shop" -- was embroiled in a zoning dispute with city leaders in Ship Bottom, N.J. The beef concerned an outdoor display at his original surf shop. A judge threatened to ...

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