DAVE LUBY SOLD SHOES before founding Bowlers Journal in 1913. No, not bowling shoes.
Before long, churning out the weekly eight-page publication became a full-time occupation. He wasn’t schooled as a journalist, but Luby made up for it with enthusiasm and devotion to bowling.
Twelve years later, Luby’s son, Mort, took over the reins and expanded the publication’s coverage to include another sport — and the name was changed to The National Bowlers Journal and Billiard Review.
Mort Luby Jr. had not planned to follow in his father’s footsteps, but the passing of Mort Sr. in 1957 put that eventuality into motion. Mort Jr., a persnickety editor and stylish writer, introduced a number of initiatives that continue to this day, including the stat-packed Almanac (published each January), the Bowling Center Architecture & Design Awards (published each November), and bulky anniversary issues each five years (beginning with the magazine’s 75th anniversary in 1988).
In 1993, the magazine updated its name to reflect its leadership in the coverage of global bowling: Bowlers Journal International.
The next year, Luby sold the company to long-time employees Keith Hamilton and Mike Panozzo, who gradually added titles to the company’s list of publications while continuing to position Bowlers Journal International as its flagship magazine.
Both Hamilton and Panozzo have been deeply involved in the industries their publications serve — Hamilton with the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, The Bowling Foundation, and the International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Assn., and Panozzo with the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America and the Billiard Congress of America.
Bowlers Journal International is the oldest monthly sports publication in the world, and will mark its 100th anniversary in 2013. All three Lubys — Dave, Mort Sr. and Mort Jr. — are members of the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame, and Mort Jr. also is a member of the Professional Bowlers Assn. Hall of Fame. He is preparing a detailed history of the magazine that will be posted soon.
Also coming soon are interviews with BJI editors and contributors, who collectively have earned more national writing awards than any other publication. This series of interviews is intended to make you more familiar with the men and women whose words fill the pages of the magazine and bring it to life. You can read the first interview — with this site’s Webmaster — here.