America’s Oldest Sports Magazine (11-8-1913)


A Chicago shoe salesman named Dave Luby launched Bowlers Journal on November 8, 1913.  Now that The Sporting News is available only online, we are today celebrating the 100th birthday of the oldest continuously-published sports magazine in the United States.

The first issues of Bowlers Journal ran eight pages.  Most of the bowling news was local, with a smattering of reports from other cities.  During the summer, when the bowling alleys closed down, baseball picked up some of the slack.  One 1914 piece predicts a bright future for a rookie Red Sox pitcher named Babe Ruth.

As bowling became more popular, Bowlers Journal grew bigger, and the baseball reports disappeared.  In 1934 the magazine became a glossy monthly.  While circulation was never as large as some other national sports magazines, its readers were fiercely loyal.

The Luby family published Bowlers Journal for three generations–Dave (1913-1925),  his son Mort (1925-1956), and then his grandson Mort Jr. (1956-1994).  In 1994 Mort Luby Jr. sold the magazine to the current owners, Keith Hamilton and Mike Panozzo.  Reflecting bowling’s world-wide appeal, it’s now known as Bowlers Journal International.

And, in case anyone didn’t know, I’ve been writing a monthly article on bowling history for the magazine since 1990.

Here’s to the second hundred years!



0 Responses to “America’s Oldest Sports Magazine (11-8-1913)”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: