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Bowling Hall of Famer Anthony dead at age 63

Earl Anthony, arguably the greatest bowler in history, finished his stellar career with $1,441,061 in earnings.

By Times staff and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 15, 2001

MILWAUKEE -- Earl Anthony, a six-time PBA bowler of the year and its greatest winner with 41 titles, died Tuesday at a friend's home in suburban Milwaukee. He was 63.

Mr. Anthony, the crew cut, bespectacled player, was one of bowling's most familiar faces when it was a weekly TV fixture in the 1970s, and he was the tour's first to break the $1-million career winnings barrier.

Ed Baur, who lives in New Berlin, Wis., said he found Mr. Anthony dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs in his home before 8 a.m.

"He may have had had a heart attack and fallen down the stairs," he said of Mr. Anthony, who had heart trouble in the late '70s but had no recent ailments. An autopsy was planned for today.

"Earl was a great bowler, a great man and a great friend," bowler Dick Weber said. "We will all miss him terribly." Weber described Mr. Anthony as "the greatest speed-control bowler ever to play the game."

Born in Kent, Wash., on April 27, 1938, Mr. Anthony flourished on tour in the '70s and '80s and his accuracy and consistency earned him the nickname "The Machine."

He earned $107,585 in 1975, becoming the first to top $100,000 in a season. He was elected to the PBA and ABC halls of fame.

Mr. Anthony is survived by his wife, Susie; a son, Mike; and daughters Tracy Nelson and Jeri Voyles.

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