'Southern Sportsman' Franc White passes

Posted June 7, 2012

— “Do yourself a favor, take a kid fishing.”

The words were uttered so routinely by Franc White. He closed his weekly show, “The Southern Sportsman,” with them 1,087 times over 24 years. They carried such little burden but such profound fervor.

White passed away Thursday, marking the end of an 86-year life that embodied a free-spirited way of being combined with a love of the outdoors.

'Southern Sportsman' Franc White passes away Franc White, the 'Southern Sportsman,' dies

White was born in Goodwater, Alabama – the town name offering a literal foreshadowing to his avenue of success.

White was an avid fisherman and hunter. He was a cook and a restaurateur. White was an author, a pilot and a World War II correspondent. He was also funny and opinionated - quick to speak his mind on environmental issues.

“The Southern Sportsman” took viewers on exotic trips finding the best fishing around from 1972-96. The show included cooking segments with White in the kitchen and first-person commentary on issues, feelings and friendships. At its height, White’s show was broadcast on 34 stations in 17 states, including WRAL-TV, which produced the show.

In 2007, White told WRAL that he did not miss having to get up early to film the show, but he missed the travels. So much so, he retired to New Zealand.

White is survived by his “special friend” Susan and his two daughters, Libby and Shaun.

'Southern Sportsman' Franc White likes catching bass 'Southern Sportsman' Franc White likes catching bass


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  • ciscopack Jun 7, 4:44 p.m.

    I was just thinking about Franc and the Southern Sportsman Show...I always tried to catch it when it was on. I miss watching it.

  • Scubagirl Jun 14, 5:12 p.m.

    I knew Frank, was in school with one of his daughters in Charlotte in the 50s when he was just getting into his career. a very nice man. RIP Franc

  • jawsfreak Jun 9, 10:41 a.m.

    RIP Franc....BB

  • They call me CATMAN Jun 8, 1:58 p.m.

    I loved that show the Southern Sportsman Franc White was a true Southern Gentleman.RIP Franc.

  • aroundthehorn Jun 8, 1:11 p.m.

    I once met Franc and Fracas at the State Fair. It's a memory that I will never forget.

  • cwood3 Jun 8, 12:39 p.m.

    Tony16-took my 25 year old daughter fishing Wednesday evening in a small pond near Clayton. And-as usual, she outfished me-well-she had a big bream and a bass, and I had 1 channel cat. Memories!!

    Franc always made me think about the bigger picture. I remember when he got his new catamaran boat after Honda brought out their new 30 HP & 45HP 4 stroke outboards. My initial thoughts were about the boat being underpowered. I finally realized that the 4 stroke was about the environment-not power and speed.

    Franc had no issues with calling out irresponsible people including politicians & polluters. He was to the point, factual, yet a true gentleman. I saw his cookbook the other day in an old book store.

    I miss the Southern Sportsman-help us out WRAL-sure is better than some of the re-runs you do now on Saturdays!! Please.

    RIP Franc and Fracas. Take a kid fishing in heaven-where every fish is a lunker!!

  • tony16 Jun 8, 11:54 a.m.

    As a teen, I really enjoyed the show especially when Fracas (in the boat) got to check out the fish Franc had just caught. Simpler times and great memories. I'm gonna take my daughter fishing ... It's about time. Thanks, Frank & Fracas!

  • corey3rd Jun 8, 11:51 a.m.

    Franc White takes us back to a time when there was true regional shows on Saturdays instead of lame infommercials. Remember when broadcast TV cared about viewers? Franc shall be remembered in my house whenever I hear Fish name that this posting site won't allow.

  • dmurphy2002 Jun 8, 11:48 a.m.

    Good Bye Friend you were right nothing makes you feel better than to take a kid fishing, hunting, camping, or just walking in the outdoors. you touched many during your life rest in peace brother..

  • NCSU84 Jun 8, 11:42 a.m.

    Used to be called The Carolina Sportsman until he went regional with his show.




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