The extended Florida Sportsman family mourns the passing of Karl Wickstrom on Monday, June 25, in Stuart, Florida, his family at his side. Karl, founder of Florida Sportsman and a life-long advocate for recreational angling, was 82. He is survived by his wife, Sheila, his four children and two grandchildren.
“No individual has done more in the past 50 years for the health of our fisheries than Karl Wickstrom,” said Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL 13th District) and former Florida governor. “Someone whose journalism informed and created a vibrant community that will continue to defend and expand sustainable fishing practices and the protection of our environment for decades to come.”
Born 1935 in Rock Island, Illinois, Wickstrom earned a journalism degree from the University of Florida at Gainesville and soon after started his career as a sports reporter. In 1960, he moved to Miami to work for the Miami Herald as an investigative journalist, winning state and national awards for incisive reporting on corruption in public affairs. In 1969, he founded Florida Sportsman (first titled Florida and Tropic Sportsman), engaging Vic Dunaway, at the time a well-known outdoors writer at the Herald, to lead editorial efforts at the new magazine. Florida Sportsman quickly grew to become the leading source for information on Florida’s developing boating and fishing interests and importantly, the voice of the state’s recreational anglers and hunters on issues of access, management and environmental causes. Florida Sportsman celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019.