World Archery honorary president Jim Easton dies aged 88

Phyllis and Jim Easton.

World Archery Honorary President James L Easton, known by many as Jim, died peacefully in his sleep on Monday 4 December 2023 at the age of 88.

A renowned businessman and philanthropist, Jim was the second-generation owner of the Easton companies after his father James D Easton. He served as president of World Archery from 1989 to 2005, leading the sport through years of substantial modernisation by introducing the matchplay competition formats and establishing the federation’s first professional office.

He was made a member of the International Olympic Committee in 1994 and served as its vice president from 2002 to 2006 before becoming an honorary member in 2015.

A pioneer in the aluminium manufacturing processes used to build arrows and many other sporting goods having become president of his family’s company in 1972, Jim launched the charitable Easton Foundations in 2007. He was the founding donor to World Archery’s development foundation, which manages the World Archery Excellence Centre in Lausanne.

Prof Dr Ugur Erdener, who succeeded Jim in the presidency of World Archery, led tributes to his predecessor, calling him an “influential leader who inspired positive change for the sport”.

“Jim’s contributions to archery, the Olympic movement, the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games and the numerous events, business and philanthropic endeavours he volunteered his time towards were immeasurable. His legacy of innovation, particularly in making archery more spectator-friendly, set the foundation for the success the sport enjoys today.”

“His passion for archery will be missed but not forgotten. My heartfelt condolences go to his wife Phyllis, son Greg, daughter Lynn and the entire Easton family for their loss.”

Prof Dr Ugur Erdener and Jim Easton at London 2012.

Jim Easton hired current World Archery secretary general Tom Dielen as the organisation’s first executive director nearly 30 years ago.

“I remember a phone call in March 1996 asking if I could come to the Lausanne Palace Hotel to meet with the FITA President to talk about my candidature the next day,” said Tom. “My memories from that interview were that he did most of the talking and that his first question was whether I smoked. I would only know sometime later that if I had said ‘yes’, the interview would have been over.”

“A few months later I began at the Van Nuys Easton office working for Jim, and my life changed forever. He was a source of inspiration at that time and continues to be in what we do every day at World Archery, working for the sport that he really loved.”

“My special thoughts go to Phyllis Easton, who was always at his side since he fell ill, and my most sincere condolences to Greg and Lynn Easton, as well as all of the Easton family and the staff of the Easton companies, Hoyt and the Easton Foundations.”

Jim is survived by his wife, Phyllis Easton, and his two children, Greg and Lynn. Greg served as a member of World Archery’s executive board from 2013 to 2022.

The family plans to hold a private memorial service.

World Archery’s flag will be flown at half mast at the World Archery Excellence Centre, the development hub and elite training facility which was established as part of his vision to leave a legacy for the sport in the Olympic Capital of Lausanne.

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