Riverboat Jack Binion
Riverboats were an integral part of America’s riverways in the 18th and 19th centuries, their captains being highly esteemed members of society.
Mr. Jack recognized that riverboat captains traveling the waterways would make ideal customers for his Tennessee whiskey. To celebrate these fine vessels, in 1987 the distillery released this 1.75 liter decanter with 90 proof whiskey; later made available at 86 proof as well.
Early Life and Education
Jack discovered sailing during his youth and loved spending summers on the Great Lakes. Old steamboats captured his interest.
Though initially timid, he took acting classes with Sanford Meisner. Although shy initially, he quickly made strides forward in learning his craft, becoming comfortable performing before an audience after only short term in class.
He was an expert at improvising, capable of speaking clearly and convincingly amid all the chaos on board ship. Physically strong enough to assist Rose onto a door frame before helping both Fabrizio and Rose onto lifeboats, he proved invaluable throughout their adventures together.
He and Marie kept in contact with their friends, attending awards ceremonies whenever possible despite traveling for work proving a challenge. Together they explored many parts of Asia.
At an early age, Jack began honing his outdoor skills in Lake City’s mountainous terrain. From 1991 to 2004 he ran Cannibal Outdoors and shared his love of nature with many outdoor adventurers – including some famous names such as Jud and Marian Hollingsworth of Sportsman’s Texaco; Bud and Irene Weems’ Silver Spur; John and Venice Benvenuto of Slumgullion Pass as rafting customers; as well as worldwide trips through Grand Canyon. He guided trips globally including trips through Grand Canyon.
Achievement and Honors
Jack was also known for being an incredible philanthropist; he made donations to the University of Hawaii football team, received an Honor Resolution from Hawaii state, and earned the “No Greater Love Award” from Tripler Army Medical Center.
He and a partner purchased and operated a large Mississippi Riverboat in Mooresville for sightseeing and dinner cruises on Lake Norman. Later on in life he enjoyed traveling and spending time with friends.
Jack was also honored to become an honorary commodore in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, an honorary rank that roughly corresponds to rear admiral (lower half). Wearing one star on their shoulderboard, this was one of Jack’s advocacy positions as seen in Season 3 Episode “And a Time to Die.” In the photograph below are officers from both services (Navy & Coast Guard).
Jack has maintained a relatively low-profile during most of his career, opting not to appear in any major movies and only making his acting debut with Yoga Hosers as short film.
He started out working on tugboats before transitioning into casino boat captaining before that industry went bankrupt. Subsequently he found employment on a riverboat as cargo captain before finally retiring in 2001.
He succumbed to Klondike fever and wrote the short story, “To the Man on the Trail”, for only $5.00 at Overland Monthly magazine. To his utter surprise and delight, it became an instant bestseller and has remained in print ever since as an inspirational tale of bravery under duress.
Jack Binion has long been one of the most recognizable figures in gambling. He created and ran Horseshoe Gaming Holding Corporation which operated riverboat casinos across Nevada; later promoted Harrah’s Entertainment casinos; owned several businesses under his name including steakhouses and slot machines – not forgetting Armand de Brignac cognac brand ownership, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy shares, his stake in Armand de Brignac cognac brand ownership as well as Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy shares. His net worth is estimated to be approximately $500 Million.