The co-founder of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and sports car racing legend, John Bishop died at the of 87.

In 1969, Bishop and his late wife, Peggy, launched the IMSA after NASCAR founder, Bill France Sr. called him to discuss assembling a new sports car organization in North America.  

Through the financial assistance of France Sr., Bishop and his wife built IMSA into a premiere sports car organization. It peaked during the 1980's and 90's with the Camel-sponsored GT Series that featured GTP prototypes.

Bishop sold IMSA in 1989 due to health issues, but he remained active in sports car racing by being the commissioner of GRAND-AM Road Racing.

"John's passing evokes grand memories of another era of sports car racing in North America.  We are thankful that John lived to see IMSA sanctioning the new unified sports car series and guiding a new era. We have lost a man who, once upon a time, was a sports car pioneer. Over the years, he became a giant in our industry. And now, he will forever be a legend," said IMSA Chairman Jim France, son of Bill France Sr.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Bishop will inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in August.