Walter Frederick Morrison, from Utah, got the idea for the Pluto Platter after tossing cake tins on the beach.Walter Frederick Morrison holding a Frisbee in 1957, the year he sold the rights to the plastic flying disk he is credited with inventing. Photograph: APfrom the Guardian UK
Walter Frederick Morrison, the man credited with inventing the Frisbee, has died at the age of 90.
Lawyer Kay McIff, who represented Morrison in a royalties case, said the American inventor died at his home in Monroe, Utah, on Tuesday.
"That simple little toy has permeated every continent in every country, as many homes have Frisbees as any other device ever invented," McIff, who is from Morrison's hometown, Richfield, Utah, said. "How would you get through your youth without learning to throw a Frisbee?"
Morrison's son, Walt, told The Associated Press this week that "old age caught up" with his father and that he also had cancer.
"He was a nice guy. He helped a lot of people," he said. "He was an entrepreneur. He was always looking for something to do."
Morrison sold the production and manufacturing rights to his Pluto Platter in 1957. The plastic flying disc was later renamed the Frisbee, with sales surpassing 200m discs. It is now a staple at beaches and spawned sports such as Frisbee golf and the team sport Ultimate.
Morrison co-wrote a book with Frisbee enthusiast and historian Phil Kennedy in 2001. Kennedy released a brief statement on Thursday, wishing his late friend "smoooooth flights".
According to Kennedy, Morrison and his future wife, Lu, used to toss a tin cake pan on the beach in California. The idea for what would become the Frisbee grew as Morrison considered ways to make the cake pans fly better and, after serving as a pilot in the second world war, he began manufacturing his flying discs in 1948.
He would hawk the discs at local fairs and eventually attracted Wham-O Manufacturing, the company that bought the rights to Morrison's plastic discs.
Kennedy says Wham-O adopted the name Frisbee because that's what college students in New England were calling the Pluto Platters. The name came from the Frisbie Pie Co, a local bakery whose empty tins were tossed like the soon-to-be Frisbee.
Walt Morrison said his father is survived by three children.