RIP: Orvis’ Leigh H. Perkins

Leigh H. Perkins, the man who turned The Orvis Company into an internationally renowned sporting goods brand, has passed away. He was 93.

Perkins, who bought Orvis in 1965, died Friday in Monticello, Fla.

“To many of us, my grandfather was a visionary, a pioneer, a lover of the outdoors, of fish, of birds, of dogs, and someone who passionately believed in protecting our natural resources for future generations,” said Simon Perkins, the current president of Orvis and the third generation of the family to lead the company over more than a half-century. Simon Perkins succeeded his father, Leigh “Perk” Perkins, as the company’s CEO.

LINK (via: Bennington Banner)

2 thoughts on “RIP: Orvis’ Leigh H. Perkins

  1. Great guy, as was his”one heck of a gal” wife, Romi. Met just once, but unforgetably and in an unforgetable place, in early 1980 (might have been ’81, it’ll be in a fishing diary).

    The little, riverside, Sarapduli Forest Rest House in Corbett National Park in the Kumaon hills region of Northern India – tiger, leopard, elephant, deer and mahseer country, shortly after darkness had fallen and we had retreated indoors to leave the animals to the night.

    We had lit the fire in the old, now rather shabbyy, British-built bungalow’s living-room, lit the oil lamps, got someone whose turn it was to get supper cooking, and were sat in front of the fire with a beer or a glass of Indian ‘Old Monk’ dark rum in my Old India Hand companion’s case, talking about the day’s fishing and the leopard we’d seen on the forest track on the way to the upper stretch of the river (the West Ramganga) in the morning plus the tusker who’d lost a tusk in a fight with another bull elephant and was sat in one pool squirting water from his trunk into the empty tusk-socket to dull the pain.

    Then we heard a vehicle on the same track, heard it slow to leave the track and come down the smaller one that led down to our bungalow and deer-grazed-jungle-lawned compound.

    A knock at the door.

    It was a young, very well-spoken Indian, probably an old Doon School Boy (India’s Eton).

    “I am sorry to interrupt your evening, Sir, but an American lady and gentleman I am looking after and showing the Park to during their short fishing and wildlife-viewing trip had heard that you and Colonel John Wakefield (any tiger expert’s tiger expert) were staying here at Sarapduli and wished to meet you…”

    “Do bring them in.”

    So he did.

    Well, what an hour or so followed.

    Leigh and Romi were given best old armchairs in front of the log fire, John produced a bottle of the Johnny Walker Black Label whisky that always travelled with (“In case of VIPs, you know…”), fishing, wildlife and tiger talk was done.

    They left informed, delighted, amused and astonished, particularly by John.

    Very nice people.

  2. Great story, Paul. And sad to reflect that there is probably nothing comparable which could happen now. But a good, aficionado’s appreciation of the man, worth far more than many which are likely to appear. From the sound of him, he’d have thought so too

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.