I have some very sad news to share with you. My father, Les, passed away today following a stroke he suffered earlier this week.
No words can properly express the sadness of our loss. Our family has lost our beloved husband, father, and grandfather. Benchmade has lost our founder, friend and visionary who built one of the greatest knife brands in the world.
My father loved all customers, employees, suppliers, friends, and the storied list of knife makers who influenced him and the world of knives since his humble beginnings in the 70’s. He was especially passionate and proud of the knife and shooting sports industries and always hoped they would thrive well beyond his years.
His commitment to enriching education, growing local communities, and creating a better future for knife owners around the country is unparalleled.
The values, culture, and essence of our brand are all thanks to his lifelong pursuit of making great knives even better, and providing users with products they can depend on every day, no matter the circumstance.
His personality and character extended far beyond business, creating fun friendships and relationships that brought him tremendous joy day after day. He always cherished interactions with people from all walks of life; from folks in law enforcement and military, to those who love hunting and fishing, and also those who simply like to “smoke cigars, bullshit and eat good food” – in his own words!
We will host a celebration of Les’ life and accomplishments and will share details when they are available.
Please help honor my father by continuing your dedication to the company that he loved and cared for so much.
I did not know the man well, but the company he founded was one of my early introductions to premium American folding knives. The mini-Griptilian is still my go to recommendation for friends looking to buy their first higher-end EDC.