Inventor Of Deep-Sea Fishing Chair
MIAMI (AP) _ Julio Sanchez, a longtime fishing enthusiast who made his mark on the sport by inventing the swiveling ″fighting chair″ used on deep-sea fishing boats, has died at age 86.
Sanchez made his living as a civil engineer, but his passion was fishing. He won the first Cat Cay fishing tournament in 1939, and went fishing with Ernest Hemingway and Howard Hughes.
Sanchez, who died Monday, several days after slipping into a coma, once said he got the idea for the swiveling fishing chair after he became stuck in a barber’s chair and freed himself by bracing his feet against the foot stand.
A native of Nuevitas, Camaguey, Cuba, Sanchez graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.
His family ran a 100,000-acre sugar cane plantation in Cuba, and he commuted between his native country and Miami for years. He and his three brothers became known as Miami Beach’s ″Sugar Kings″ in the 1930s.
In Camaguey, Sanchez was credited with converting the sugar mill to electricity by damming the largest river in the region.
He and his wife, Willow Dean Dunaway Sanchez, settled in Miami after Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba. Mrs. Sanchez died in 1979.
Sanchez is survived by his sister, Maria Sanchez de Lamar.
Services were scheduled for Wednesday.