(Dec. 23, 1929-Feb. 14, 2005). Born and raised in Indianapolis, Dick Weber gained notoriety as a bowler while simultaneously working as a local postman. His fame reached an inflection point when he left the Circle City to join a St. Louis professional bowling team known as the Budweisers in 1955. Throughout the late 1950s, Weber and his team consistently found both regular season and post-season success, claiming the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America’s 1955 regular-season title as well as the association’s post-season trophy in 1956, 1958, and 1959.

Dick Weber holding a trophy, ca. 1960s
© Indianapolis Star

Weber’s time with the Budweisers propelled him to celebrity status as he helped found the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) in 1958. Over the next 50 years in the PBA tour, Weber won 26 PBA tournament titles and 6 PBA senior tournament titles. He won 3 of the first 4 tournaments, 10 of the first 23, and he performed a “three-peat” of tournament titles twice. Weber also won 4 major tournament titles with the PBA (all at the U.S. Open). Furthermore, he was named the BPAA’s Bowler of the Year in 1961, 1963, and 1965.

Weber’s success made him the sport’s first true celebrity and a staple of both bowling and American pop culture in the 1960s. As an ambassador for his sport, Weber participated in numerous bowling promotions throughout the late 20th century, appearing in locations like airports and hospitals. However, he was most fondly remembered for his numerous appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Dick Weber died of respiratory failure. The Weber Cup annual event in England, the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs, and the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) Dick Weber Bowling Ambassador are named in his honor.

Revised June 2021
 

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