Jim Tom Hedrick from Moonshiners is dead at age 82 from kidney cancer.
The news broke earlier today with a statement from Sugarlands Distilling Company via its Facebook page.
“It’s with heavy hearts we say goodbye to our dear friend Marvin ‘Jim Tom’ Hedrick. Born Christmas Day, 1940, Jim Tom dedicated much of his life to the art of moonshining, becoming a legend in Appalachia along the way,” began the lengthy statement.
The message discussed Jim Tom’s part in the Discovery show Moonshiners.
“Jim Tom’s well-earned reputation as one of the most skilled moonshiners in the South earned him a role on the hit television program Moonshiners, where his colorful personality endeared Jim Tom to the hearts of millions.,” read the statement.
Sugarlands Distilling Company’s president and founder, Ned Vickers, further added to the statement with his tribute to Jim Tom.
“Jim Tom Hedrick was one of the first veteran moonshiners to truly embrace Sugarlands when we opened our doors. Gaining the stamp of approval from Jim Tom was instrumental in shaping the authenticity of Sugarlands, and we’re forever indebted to his support and friendship,” the message stated before asking people to raise a jar for Jim Tom.
Moonshiners star Jim Tom Hedrick battled kidney cancer
According to TMZ, Jim Tom passed away Wednesday morning in Robbinsville, North Carolina.
Multiple sources told the outlet that Jim had been battling kidney cancer for quite a while and that Jim had been on dialysis.
Jim Tom had reportedly been in a nursing home for the past year.
What is Moonshiners?
In 2012, Jim Tom joined Season 2 of Moonshiners and stayed a series regular until Season 6 wrapped in 2017.
The Discovery series follows the lives of several people who produce illegal moonshine in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Moonshiners focuses on how the moonshine is made and how they get around the law to keep making it.
However, the show has been called out over the years, with authorities in Virginia insisting there are no illegal distillers in the state being produced by those featured on Moonshiners.
“If illegal activity was actually taking place, the Virginia ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement would have taken action,” Virginia Department Alcoholic Beverage Control spokeswoman Kathleen Shaw told Today in 2011 after Moonshiners premiered.
Today, Moonshiners lost one of their own with the passing of Jim Tom Hedrick from kidney cancer.
Moonshiners is currently on hiatus on Discovery.