Known to millions of his fans as “The Flying Fisherman,” Roscoe Vernon “Gadabout” Gaddis was the star of OUTDOORS WITH LIBERTY MUTUAL, a weekly half-hour syndicated fishing program that debuted nationwide in 1965.
Roscoe Gaddis finally made it big in the 1960s when Winston Mergot, an executive of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (a fishing buff himself) saw one of Gaddis’ adventure films and immediately decided to sponsor him in over 108 television stations across the country.
Gaddis caught his first fish (catfish) at the age of 7 on the Okaw River and was literally “hooked for life.” He got his nicknames in the following manner: “Gadabout” from his boss who could never find him (he worked as a traveling salesman for a fishing tackle company); and “The Flying Fisherman” because he flew on every assignment in his own Piper Cherokee (he had won his Army Air Corp wings at Kelly Field during WWI).
Some of his first fishing trips which he filmed were broadcast in 1939 and later in 1944 when the FCC authorized a General Electric experimental station (W2XAD) in Schenectady, New York.His early adventures were sponsored by Hub Sporting Goods Store.
Born in Mattoon, Illinos, Roscoe Gaddis died at a nursing home in Bingham, Maine on October 21, 1986 at the age of 90 years.