By 1958, the organization had outgrown its American Museum of Natural History offices and relocated to Florida to be nearer to Michael Lerner’s Miami home and beloved Bimini laboratory in photo above. In conjunction with the move, a number of new IGFA Governors and members of the Executive Committee were added, and the organization appeared poised and ready for another decade of growth. So it was, but it was to be under a new leader.
In his prime, William K. DuPont Carpenter was a large imposing man of great character and privilege. Heir to the DuPont fortune, Carpenter stood 6’3” and weighed 220-pounds, yet he managed to squeeze into cockpits long enough to forge a distinguished career as an Air Force pilot during WWII. He was an avid hunter and sportsman all his life and is widely regarded today as one of the preeminent giant bluefin tuna anglers of all time. Appointed IGFA Vice President in October of 1959, he replaced Mike Lerner as President barely nine months later, a strikingly rapid ascension that was most likely pre-ordained. With Lerner approaching his 70th birthday, it was time for a successor and Bill Carpenter brought not only a sterling fishing resume, but also the financial intelligence necessary to undertake the IGFA’s ongoing responsibilities. There may have been other candidates to succeed Lerner, but not with Carpenter’s combination of credentials.