'Southern Sportsman' Franc White passes
Posted June 7, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — “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.
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.