We just got word that the National Bicycle League’s founder, George Esser passed away.For those of you who don’t know, Esser was one of racing’s founding fathers and played a HUGE role in getting BMX up and running on the east coast back in the 70’s. Just as a quick history lesson, Esser created the NBL in February 1976 in Florida and it was actually a take-off on his motorcycle sanctioning body, the NML (National Motorcycle League). Below are excerpts from his obituary.

George Esser. Photo courtesy of the NBL.

SAN ANGELO — George Edward Esser, 80, of San Angelo died Thursday, Aug. 31, 2006, in the Robert Lee Care Center.

Born Sept. 17, 1925, he was the only son of George and Rubye Ellen Magee Esser. Proud of his Texas lineage, he was the grandson of George and Emilie Lieck Esser, and Silas and Carrie Adelia Bickham Magee.

He was a retired U.S. Air Force officer who, following retirement, formed various organizations and was actively involved in private enterprise. He was the founder and first president of the National Bicycle League. He is survived by his wife, Marcia Lee Esser; and five sons.

Special mention is appropriate for the kindnesses of many persons who helped George cope with his affliction of Alzheimer’s disease, including the staff of San Angelo Community Medical Center, West Texas Medical Associates, Shannon Medical Center, Robert Lee Care Center and VistaCare Hospice of San Angelo. The family also thanks Dr. Raymund M. Untalean and Dr. Carlos Escobar for their compassionate and diligent care.

Memorial contributions may be made to VistaCare Hospice Foundation, 402 N. Bryant Blvd., San Angelo, TX 76903.