February 19th, 2008

Grits Gresham, Host of American Sportsman, Passes Away

The National Shooting Sports Federation reports that Grits Gresham, one of America’s best-known outdoorsmen and a longtime friend to NSSF, died yesterday (2/18/2008) in his hometown of Natchitoches, La., at age 85. Gresham enjoyed an extraordinary career that included serving as field host and producer for the “The American Sportsman” TV series on ABC and as a magazine writer and editor, book author, conservationist and television personality. At one time, Gresham was the outdoor industry’s most visible champion thanks to his role in a series of commercials for Miller Lite beer. Back in the early 1980s, when cable television and outdoor programming were gaining a national audience, NSSF began to explore how to best use this new outreach for its hunting and shooting sports promotional messages. “What we really needed,” said NSSF President Doug Painter, “was a great spokesman, and who better than the former co-host of ‘The American Sportsman’ series, Grits Gresham. We began in 1984 with a series of ‘Where to Hunt’ and ‘Where to Shoot’ specials on ESPN hosted by Grits. These specials were followed by broadcasts of the first ‘made-for-TV’ shooting event, the ‘Sportsman’s Team Challenge,’ and continued with our ‘Shooting Sports America’ series on prime-time ESPN through the mid-1990s. Grits was a terrific host and a wonderful ambassador for our sports.”

Text COPYRIGHT © 2008 by National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc.

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