Mr. Bisher was a constant presence for decades at the major events of the sports calendar — the Kentucky Derby, the Super Bowl, the Masters golf tournament, baseball’s World Series and college football games.
He covered the first modern NASCAR stock-car race in Charlotte in 1949. His columns were credited with helping bring major league baseball to Atlanta in 1966, and he remained a lyrical chronicler of the Masters in Augusta, Ga., into his 90s.
Mr. Bisher came from a time when sportswriters were often more famous than the players they covered, when their columns were the pride of regions in which they lived.
He was, NASCAR writer Ed Hinton wrote on ESPN.com, “the singular, undisputed titan of all Southern sports writers.”
Mr. Bisher had a knack for gaining incisive interviews from tight-lipped athletes who were wary of the press, including baseball stars Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and — most elusive of all — Joe Jackson.
From 1911 to 1920, Jackson — an illiterate outfielder from South Carolina — was one the finest hitters in baseball. His .356 batting average is third highest in major league history.
He became embroiled in baseball’s most infamous scandal when he and several of his Chicago White Sox teammates were accused of accepting bribes from gamblers before the 1919 World Series. After the heavily favored White Sox committed a series of inexplicable errors and lost the series to the Cincinnati Reds, the episode became known as the Black Sox Scandal.
A year later, when the bribery was revealed, eight members of the White Sox, including Jackson, were banned from baseball for life. Jackson never spoke in public about the incident until Mr. Bisher found him in Greenville, S.C., in 1949.
In an as-told-to story, published in Sport magazine, Jackson professed his innocence, pointing out his stellar performance in the World Series, in which he had the highest batting average on either team (.375), played errorless defense and hit the only home run.
He also explained how he acquired the memorable nickname of “Shoeless Joe.” Once, while breaking in a new pair of shoes in the minor leagues, he got blisters on his feet.
The next day, to ease the pain, he played in his stockings and hit a triple, prompting an opposing fan to shout, “You shoeless sonofagun, you!” The name entered into baseball legend.
“I never played the outfield barefoot,” Jackson told Mr. Bisher, “and that was the only day I ever played in my stockinged feet, but it stuck with me.”
Mr. Bisher was sympathetic to Jackson but always believed the player accepted a $5,000 bribe in 1919.
When Jackson died in 1951, Mr. Bisher wrote: “They say he was the greatest natural hitter who ever lived.