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Striking Presence

Pro bowling pioneer Dick Weber became his sport's first superstar

Dick Weber won't be remembered as the best bowler ever--he ranks seventh on the PBA Tour's career victories list with 26, and his contemporaries Don Carter and Earl Anthony were at least as accomplished as he was. But the gentleman roller was a peerless ambassador for his sport. Says former American Bowling Congress Hall of Fame executive director Steve James, "He was probably the best-known bowler worldwide." Weber died in his sleep on Sunday at age 75, shortly after returning to his St. Louis home from the ABC championships in Baton Rouge. The former Indianapolis postal worker began bowling with a Budweiser-sponsored touring team in 1955. Three years later he helped found the PBA, and the skinny righthander was a fixture on Saturday-afternoon bowling broadcasts throughout the '60s and '70s. Weber was a three-time Bowler of the Year, and by 1975 he was a member of both the ABC and PBA halls of fame.

Over the last two decades, while his son Pete cultivated an image as the sport's bad boy, Weber stayed active on the PBA's Senior Tour. He also appeared often on David Letterman's show and bowled in exhibitions around the U.S. "My life is bowling," he said at a clinic in Akron in December. "And it has been fun always."




Weber (in 1968) never stopped promoting the game he loved.