SBD/March 19, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Legendary Sportswriter Furman Bisher Passes Away At 93 From Heart Attack

Bisher spent 59 years with AJC
before retiring in '09
Longtime sportswriter FURMAN BISHER, who covered The Masters for more than 50 years, died of a heart attack yesterday at the age of 93, according to a front-page piece by Alexis Stevens of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. Bisher spent 59 years with the AJC before retiring in ‘09, and he wrote his final column “on the same typewriter he used when he started in 1950." Bisher since his official retirement “continued to write occasionally” for the AJC, and to “cover golf tournaments like the Masters, the PGA [Championship] last August and the Tour Championship at East Lake.” He contributed “hundreds of articles for Sports Illustrated, the Saturday Evening Post and many other national magazines” and also “wrote several books, including a biography of HANK AARON.” In addition to writing, Bisher is “credited with helping bring professional sports to Atlanta.” He was a “charter member of the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium Authority during a time when it wasn't regarded as a conflict for a journalist to serve in such a capacity” (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/19). In Jacksonville, Garry Smits notes Bisher “covered every important sporting event in the South and nationwide, usually 50 or more times.” He scored the “only interview SHOELESS JOE JACKSON ever gave after being banned from baseball” (JACKSONVILLE.com, 3/19). Golf Channel's Gary Williams said of Bisher, “He was one of the finest writers America has ever produced.” Golf Channel's Erik Kuselias: “This was one of the great American sports writers of all time. He was an iconic figure.” Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte: “I don’t feel worthy enough to talk about Furman because he was such an icon. He was our generation’s GRANTLAND RICE” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 3/19).

TWITTER REAX: The AJC's Jeff Schultz wrote on Twitter, "There aren't many people worthy of having the word 'legend' attached to their name. Furman Bisher was one of them. He will be missed." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss wrote, "Journalism has one less giant. Furman Bisher, a friend and mentor, passed away today. One of best writers... Ever." CBSSports.com's Tony Barnhart wrote, "Furman Bisher was one of the best sports writers who ever lived. I was fortunate that he was my mentor and my friend." The AJC's David O'Brien: "He was a good man who made great writing seem easy. A true giant of our industry." The Indianapolis Star's Bob Kravitz: "A fond farewell to the late Furman Bisher of the Atlanta JC. One of the titans of the sportswriting biz." The Washington Examiner's Rick Snider: "R.I.P. one of the giants of sports writing - Furman Bisher. Sat next to him many years at Kentucky Derby. Even in his 80s could write well."
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