Restaurateur Joe Thum created America's first bowling organization on Sept. 9, 1895, when he pulled together representatives of various regional bowling clubs and formed the American Bowling Congress (ABC). A women's congress was established in 1916.
Marion Ladewig dominated the women's Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) Women's All-Star Tournament (now called the U.S. Open), winning eight tournaments between 1949 and 1963.
“The Professional Bowlers Tour” on ABC was the second-longest live sports series on network television, behind only college football. ABC had been broadcasting PBA tournament finals since 1962. Events can now be seen on ESPN.
Earl Anthony, who bowled left-handed, became the first bowler to earn more than $100,000 in a single season when he finished the 1975 PBA Tour schedule with $107,585. He broke the $1 million mark in career earnings in 1982. He passed away in August, 2001.
Norm Duke is the youngest person to win a PBA Tour tournament. He won the 1983 Cleveland Open at age 18. The youngest person to bowl a PBA event is 15-year-old Jack Perry of Ontario, Canada, who rolled in the 2004 PBA World Championship.
On Feb. 2, 1997, University of South Dakota sophomore Jeremy Sonnenfeld became the first person ever to roll three perfect games of 300 in a three-game series (as approved by the American Bowling Congress).
The International Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri, includes separate wings for honorees of the American Bowling Congress (ABC), Professional Bowlers' Association (PBA), and Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC). The museum does not include the new Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour Hall of Fame, which is located in Las Vegas, Nevada
On Jan. 1, 2005, the ABC joined the Women's International Bowling Congress, Young American Bowling Alliance, and USA Bowling to become the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). It runs the USBC Open as well as other tournaments. In 2006 Wendy Macpherson became the first woman to take the regular singles title.