Jim Tom Hedrick of "Moonshiners" has died ... TMZ has confirmed.
A family member of JT's tells us he passed away Wednesday morning in Robbinsville, NC -- although the exact circumstances are unclear. What we do know, per the relative, is that JT had kidney cancer and was receiving dialysis for a long time.
A statement from Sugarlands Distilling Co reads, "Jim Tom dedicated much of his life to the art of moonshining, becoming a legend in Appalachia along the way. 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."
SDC goes on to say Jim Tom was one of the veteran moonshiners in the area who embraced them when they opened their doors ... and his stamp of approval went a long way.
Jim Tom appeared on several seasons of the long-running Discovery reality series -- which chronicles moonshiners running their illegal booze biz all throughout the Appalachian mountains. He joined during Season 2 in 2012 and stuck around through 2017.
He was known for his unique personality and manners of speaking -- not to mention his storytelling and, of course, his pristine skill at making homemade alcohol out in nature.