Charles Lewis Jr.

Charles Lewis Jr. (June 23, 1963 – March 11, 2009) was an American businessman, promoter and entertainer. Known by his nickname "Mask", Lewis founded the Tapout clothing line in 1997, which eventually became a multimillion-dollar clothing company.[1]

Charles Lewis Jr.
TPAR2009.jpg
Lewis in 2009
Born(1963-06-23)June 23, 1963
San Bernardino, California, US
DiedMarch 11, 2009(2009-03-11) (aged 45)
Newport Beach, California, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Other namesMask
OccupationBusinessman, entertainer
Known forTapouT co-founder and television personality
Spouse(s)Lacey White was engaged at time of death
Children2

Mask was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July 2009, becoming the first non-fighter to enter the UFC Hall of Fame.

CareerEdit

TapouTEdit

In 1997, Lewis and his two friends began selling mixed martial arts apparel from the back of their Mustang. By 2007, the company, "Tapout", had revenue of $22.5 million, with a 2009 target of $225 million.[2] Lewis was known as "Mask", because of stripes of facepaint he frequently used.[1]

EntertainmentEdit

In 2007, Lewis, along with promoters "Skyskrape" and "Punkass", starred in TapouT, a reality television series on cable channel Versus that followed up-and-coming mixed martial arts fighters. The second season of the program began airing in July 2008.[2]

DeathEdit

Shortly before 1:00 am on March 11, 2009, Lewis died in a high-speed car crash in Newport Beach, California.[1] His Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale, a race version of the Ferrari 360 Modena collided with a 1977 Porsche before hitting a light pole. It is presumed that the two vehicles were traveling alongside one another at high speed. Lewis was declared dead at the scene. Twenty-three-year-old Lacy Lynn White, a female occupant of Lewis's Ferrari, was ejected from the vehicle and was taken to a hospital. She suffered a fractured elbow and lacerations.[3] The driver of the Porsche was arrested for "alcohol-related gross vehicular manslaughter".[1] As a tribute to his contributions to the UFC, Lewis was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at the UFC 100 Fan Expo, and Lewis's name was made a permanent feature on the inside of the door to the Octagon.[4] He is buried at Mountain View cemetery in San Bernardino California.

LegacyEdit

In 2009, Lewis was featured in the video game UFC 2009 Undisputed as an unlockable fighter along with "Skyskrape" and "Punkass" all not dressed in standard UFC attire but in TapouT clothes including hats, shirts, and shoes. Unlockable by achieving three consecutive submission victories in Career mode, he fights in the Light Heavyweight class.

In 2010, Lewis was also featured in UFC 2010 Undisputed alongside "Skyscrape" and "Punkass". All of them were still featured fully dressed in their TapouT clothing. This time they were unlockable by a code that can be entered in the main menu.

Released September 2011, the film Warrior was dedicated "In loving memory of our friend, Charles 'Mask' Lewis Jr.". The role of the fight promoter in this movie, played by co-producer and director Gavin O'Connor, was meant to be played by Charles Lewis Jr., had Lewis not been killed just before the shooting of the movie.[5] A new film by British director Bobby Razak chronicles the life and death of Charles Lewis. Razak founded the media portion of TapouT and TapouT films. Mask is the first non-fighter to be inducted into UFC Hall of Fame

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "TapouT Founder Killed in SoCal Ferrari Crash". Fox News Channel. March 12, 2009. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b "Q&A with 'Mask' from TapouT". Sports Illustrated. CNN. July 30, 2008. Retrieved March 12, 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Founder of clothing firm killed in Ferrari crash". MSNBC. March 12, 2009. Archived from the original on March 13, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Gerbasi, Thomas (July 6, 2009). "Liddell and Mask are the two newest inductees into the UFC Hall". UFC. Archived from the original on July 9, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Warrior (2011) Trivia". International Movie DataBase. IMDb.com, Inc.