ST. LOUIS (AP) - Dick Weber, a three-time national bowler of the year who helped transform bowling into a popular, nationally televised sport, has died. He was 75.
Weber died in his sleep Sunday night at his home in the St. Louis area, said Steve James, retired executive director of the American Bowling Congress Hall of Fame.
He began having breathing problems and paramedics were called, but could not revive him, James said, quoting an e-mail that Weber's wife, Juanita, sent to several bowling groups. A cause of death was not known.
"He was probably the best-known bowler worldwide," James said.
Weber, a skinny right-hander, was a postal worker in Indianapolis with a growing reputation as a top bowler when he was lured to St. Louis in 1955 to bowl with a famous local team, the Budweisers. The team's record of 3,858 pins in one match stood for more than three decades.
After the Professional Bowlers Association was formed in 1958, Weber became the national bowler of the year in 1961, 1963 and 1965.
He became one of bowling's first television stars when ABC began broadcasting bowling events.
"Everyone who knows him loves him. In competition, he's been amazingly successful. I don't think his contribution to the sport can be underestimated," said Jim Baltz, curator of the International Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis.
Weber's son, Pete, is also a top bowler and is second on the all-time PBA money list.
Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press