Bowlers Journal International is the oldest monthly sports publication in the world, and its editors and contributors collectively have earned more national writing awards than any other bowling publication.
Founder Dave Luby began churning out the weekly eight-page publication in 1913 and, before long, the endeavor became a full-time occupation. Though Luby wasn’t schooled as a journalist, he 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 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.
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 Association Hall of Fame.
BJI marked its 100th anniversary in 2013 with a “perfect” 300-page anniversary issue, and in 2020 was purchased by the United States Bowling Congress. Of that deal, Luby Jr. said, “I think it’s great. It means stability for the magazine, and hopefully it will continue forever."
Indeed. Here's to the next 100 years.