MOUNTAIN HOME, Arkansas (AP)—Forrest L. Wood, who created one of the top brands in the boating industry and was a pioneer of bass tournament fishing, has died at age 87.
Wood, who was born in Flippin, Ark., founded with his wife Nina the company Ranger Boats in 1968. The business quickly grew and became a household name among fisherman around the U.S. He sold the company in 1987.
Wood was known as the “father of the modern bass boat.”
Keith Daffron, his grandson, said in a Facebook post Wood died on Jan. 25 and was surrounded by his family. He died after a brief illness.
In a statement, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Wood’s death “is a deeply sad moment for our entire state.”
“His contributions to the world of fishing and recreation have made Arkansas a destination point for fishermen from all over the world,” Hutchinson said.
Former President Bill Clinton said in a statement that Wood was “ambitious and determined and Arkansas is a better place because he fully invested his time and his talents right here.”
Wood was inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in 2006 and into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.