BY JOHNNY CAMPOS
New York, NY – The sports world lost one of its greatest competitors on Friday when Mark Roth died at the age of 70.
Roth, one of the all-time greats on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour, had been battling with various health issues for the past few years and had recovered from heart attacks in 2009 and again in 2019.
A few days prior to Roth’s death, his wife, Denise, notified his fans that Mark, who also had diabetes, was suffering from congestive heart failure with complications from pneumonia.
Roth, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, won 34 PBA titles in his storied career, including eight victories in 1978 – a PBA record that still stands. He was voted the Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year on three consecutive years, from 1977-79, and again in 1984. Roth also won the PBA High Average Award six times in his career.
He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1987 and to the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 2009.
Roth dominated the PBA Tour in the 1970s, and is famous for boosting the modern power game with his powerful cranking release. He is credited for revolutionizing the sport and inspired a generation of bowlers with his hard-throwing style.
In 1984, Roth was the leading money winner ($158,712) and finished the season with four titles, including two majors, the BPAA U.S. Open and the Angle Touring Players Championships. Also, during that year, Roth eclipsed the $1 million mark in career earnings with his victory at the Greater Detroit Open.
He won his final career title, the IOF Foresters Open in Canada, in 1995.
In recent years, he was honored by and was a big part of the PBA Tour.
For the PBA's 50th Anniversary, Roth was named the fifth Greatest Player in history. For the PBA’s 60th Anniversary, his 7-10 conversion and record eight titles in 1978 were among the PBA's Greatest moments. The Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship has been held in the famed doubles team's honor, and the PBA League MVP Award annually is named after Mark Roth.
"Mark is an icon," said Tom Clark, PBA Tour Commissioner. "He revolutionized the game with his powerful style, and was a hero to generations of bowlers. He loved bowling and it was an honor to have him involved with the PBA. Our thoughts are with his wife Denise and all that Mark touched with his unique talent."
Mark is survived by his one daughter, Stefanie Roth.
Details of a memorial and services have not yet been announced.