38-year-old self-titled “King of Random” YouTube star, Grant Thompson, who has racked up more than 11 million subscribers, was found dead Tuesday, July 30 after a paragliding incident, according to police.
Thompson’s family filed a missing person’s report after he never returned from a trip on Monday. According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, his body was then recovered Tuesday morning in St. George, Utah. A Life Flight helicopter and volunteers with the sheriff’s search and rescue were dispatched to an area narrowed down by a cell phone GPS location.
The YouTuber was found dead at the scene.
Local officials recovered paragliding equipment as well as a video recording device and are “currently reviewing the video to determine factors which led to the aircraft crash.”
A statement posted to Thompson’s Instagram on Tuesday reads, “Grant had a great love and appreciation for his fans. 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.”
Since launching his YouTube channel in January 2010, Thompson had nearly 2.5 billion views on his page, which features “life hacks, experiments, and random weekend projects.”
In 2017, he told Mediakix that he was bullied as a child, became an airline pilot for 11 years and semi-retired after he began investing in real estate.
“Then I just started tinkering and learning about how the world works, which was inspired kind of by the idea of the Great Recession from the housing collapse,” Thompson said. “I was learning about things. I started making videos on YouTube showing people what I was tinkering with and what I was coming up with. It turned into a big enough movement that I shut down my real estate business, I quit the airlines, and now it’s all YouTube.”
We're deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Grant Thompson, a gifted, passionate and endlessly curious creator. We send our deepest condolences to his loving family, The King of Random team and fans. https://t.co/pUY4q1EWcU pic.twitter.com/oL3VVSXacf
— YouTube at 🏠 (@YouTube) July 30, 2019
“We’re deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Grant Thompson, a gifted, passionate and endlessly curious creator,” YouTube said in a statement. “We send our deepest condolences to his loving family, The King of Random team and fans.”