Richard Saukko, who for 28 years rode the familiar white horse Traveler at USC football games, has died in Sepulveda. The cause of death was not immediately known. He was 72.
Saukko made his first appearance on Traveler I in 1961, wearing a costume worn by Charlton Heston in the movie "Ben-Hur." That costume proved to be too heavy, though, and Saukko made his own distinctive leather outfit, modeled after the one depicted on the Tommy Trojan statue on USC's campus.