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Fred Bear (March 5, 1902 - April 27, 1988) was an American bow hunter, bow manufacturer, author and television host. Though he didn't start bow hunting until the age of 29, he is widely regarded as a bow-hunting pioneer. He previously worked for Chrysler and Ford both as a glue maker and a wood carver creating radio inserts for automobiles. The auto plant Fred was working at caught fire and burned down which left him unemployed. After a short period of time Bear Products Company which was related to the automotive industry was founded in Detroit, MI in 1933. When he hired Nels Grumley, a woodworker and bowyer they offered the bows as one of their products. By 1940 the work expanded to bow products and the name was changed to Bear Archery.
In 1947 he and his wife Henrietta moved to Grayling, MI and lived in a tent along the AuSable River to keep their expenses down while trying to make a go of their bow business. Later on as his business grew and he became a proficient bow hunter he appeared on many television shows and also produced several films of bow-hunting around the world.
Bear Archery was the primary employer in Grayling, MI but eventually moved to Gainesville, FL in 1978. Mr. Bear continued as the chairman until his death at the age of 86 in 1988.
The mission of the Fred Bear Day Inc. organization is to remember, honor and promote Fred Bear and "Keep the Spirit Alive" which was one of his many famous quotes.
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