Gary Wichard, a prominent sports agent who was the inspiration for the movie, “Jerry Maguire,” died Friday morning at his home in Westlake Village, Calif.
Wichard, an agent for over 30 years, passed after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 60.
Wichard was diagnosed in February of 2010 after attending the Senior Bowl.
Film director Cameron Crowe noticed a magazine photo of Wichard hugging one of his clients in the early 1990s, and that led Crowe to make the movie, which starred Tom Cruise and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
“I didn’t have any sons,” Wichard said recently. “But these players are my sons. They’re my guys.”
According to a report on ESPN.com, former New York Jets defensive end Jason Taylor dedicated his 2010 season to Wichard after learning of the agent’s illness.
“I needed someone like Gary in my life. Or else I would not be who I am today, wouldn’t be the player I am, wouldn’t have the wife and kids that I have now.”
Besides his wife and daughters, Wichard is survived by his brother, Neal, of La Jolla, Calif., and his brother, Alvin, of New York