is an innovator in the field of cheerleading
. He created the Herkie
cheerleading jump, which was named for him, and received a patent for the pom-pon
. Herkimer has described his contribution to the field as taking it "from the raccoon coat and pennant to greater heights".
Herkimer started his first cheerleading camp in 1948 at Sam Houston State Teachers College (now Sam Houston State University) with 53 participants, which grew to 350 the following year.
[Branch, John. "Shaking Pompoms for the Grandfather of Modern Cheerleading", The New York Times, March 14, 2009. Accessed March 15, 2009.]
As part of an effort to provide a visually-appealing device for cheerleaders, his pom-pon
with a hidden handle was granted patent 3,560,313 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 1971. Herkimer chose the name "Pom pon" after hearing that the word "pompom" had vulgar meanings in other languages.