Meritorious Service

J. Elmer Reed
City: Cleveland
State: OH
Inducted: 1978

Reed was the first black member of the ABC Hall of Fame. Perhaps that's fitting because in the 1940s he was instrumental in the fight against ABCs Caucasian-Only membership rule which was rescinded at the 1950 ABC Convention. After learning blacks virtually were excluded from bowling because of race, Reed traveled to many cities at his own expense in the 1930s to organize black bowling leagues, usually in old, rundown centers. In 1941, he and two partners built the first black bowling center in the U.S. (United Recreation in Cleveland).