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Berkley tackle firm founder passes away

Berkley Warren Bedell, US fishing industry stalwart, one-time US Congressman and the man who founded what is now Pure Fishing, has died at the age 98, following a stroke.

Berkley was born in Spirit Lake, Iowa, where he set up Berkley & Co, which, as Pure Fishing, is the world’s biggest tackle manufacturer, although he was best-known across the USA as a Congressman, represented Iowa’s Sixth District in the House of Representatives for 12 years, starting in 1975.

Son Tom, who followed him into the tackle trade and headed up Pure Fishing himself for many years, said: “Dad… pioneered a life that impacted others for 98 years. His duality of concern for how others thought of him and how graciously he thought of others moulded a personality that was uniquely special and full of influence.

“He embraced responsibility for the challenges to humanity, from nuclear annihilation to climate change to disparity in affluence to the economic greed in medicine over the natural solutions to human health. He transitioned a sleepy town in Iowa with his fishing business; he set an example of principle as a Congressman; and he lived wisdom and passion in his senior years – never giving up on the desire and belief that he could change the world for the better.

“Berkley lived a full life of passion, action and cause until a severe stroke attacked his very alive and productive brain. He loved life and wanted it to last forever, but he feared being disabled and being unable to live life to the fullest. He was granted his wish. He celebrated his causes and friends right up to his last days. Like the rest of his extraordinary life, he lived as he wished right up until the end.”

Berkley’s wife, Elinor, died in 2017 but he is survived by three children, Ken, Tom and Jo.

Author: Simon Calvert

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