Famed Georgia sportswriting legend Furman Bisher, who served as a Guest Columnist the past three years for The Albany Herald and its sister newspapers within the Southern Community Newspaper Inc. group, died late Sunday of a heart attack. He was 93.
FAYETTEVILLE — Famed Georgia sportswriter Furman Bisher, who covered everything from major golf tournaments to the Triple Crown during a career that spanned six decades, died Sunday of a massive heart attack south of Atlanta. He was 93.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Bisher's death on its website Sunday evening. Former AJC editor Jim Minter said family members told him that Bisher had planned to watch golf at home Sunday but that he complained of feeling ill, at which point his wife Lynda called 911. He died at the hospital.
“He put more quality words on newsprint than any other writer in the last half of the 20th century,” Minter said. “He never wrote a bad column.”
Bisher retired in 2009 after 59 years at the Georgia newspaper, writing his final column on the same typewriter he'd used in 1950. In the last three years, he was been a guest columnist for many newspapers, including The Albany Herald.
Former Herald Publisher and current Southern Community Newspaper Inc., Vice President Mike Gebhart, who has known Bisher for years, said he was saddened by the news.
"Furman was a giant among men. I just communicated with him Friday and he told me since he wasn't going to have back surgery this week he'd be filing some columns. I am shocked and saddened by this tragic news. I will miss him," Gebhart said.
The North Carolina native wrote hundreds of articles for national magazines including Sports Illustrated and the Saturday Evening Post. His several books included an autobiography of Hank Aaron.
Bisher began his career in 1938 at the Lumberton Voice in North Carolina, and he became an editor at the Charlotte News two years later. After his official retirement, Bisher continued to write occasionally for the Journal-Constitution and to cover golf tournaments. He was hoping to cover this year's Masters tournament.