Businessman, world-renowned angler and humanitarian Michael J. Levitt set many IGFA World Records, helped design innovations in sport fishing boats, and was instrumental in establishing the original IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum.
Among the first anglers to embrace light tackle in the 1960's, Levitt's passion for the sport produced 15 IGFA World Records-- five still standing. Two of those standing records rank in Sport Fishing Magazine’s Top 100 Saltwater Records of all Time: a 631-pound black marlin caught on 16-pound line (#43) and a 737-pound 7-ounce black marlin caught on 20-pound line-- a 60 to one ratio-- (#20).
Levitt knew the importance of hiring and retaining a first-rate, world-class crew to handle a sport fishing boat properly and support his angling accomplishments. He financed and led the design of a line of custom sport fishing boats that created the legend of the "Jersey Devil". The boats were large and comfortable, but also easily maneuverable when it was time to tame the fish; they became prototypes for future large sport fishing machines.
Levitt was elected to the IGFA Board of Trustees in 1996 and became its fourth Chairman In 2000.