Year Inducted: 2000
Category: Meritorious Service
Fitzgerald was born in Chicago and was a resident of the city's Near North Side for most of his life. He earned a journalism degree from the University of Missouri in 1949 and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He joined the Chicago Tribune in 1961 as a writer and copy editor on the sports desk. Colleagues at the Tribune described him as a high-spirited man with a wry sense of humor. He was one of the first national writers to cover the PBA's inaugural Firestone Tournament of Champions in 1965 and covered the event each year thereafter for as long as it remained in Akron, Ohio (1994). As the bowling writer for the Tribune, Fitzgerald always kept his readers abreast of the latest news from the PBA. An avid bowler himself, he bowled in the annual American Bowling Congress tournament for 45 years. Fitzgerald retired from the Tribune in 1992, but he didn't stop covering the sport of bowling nor the PBA. He simply altered his allegiance and his writing stule and continued covering the sport for various magazines and bowling publications. He was the Executive Director of the Bowling Writers Association of America (BWAA) for more than 15 years and was also a past president of the association. He wrote several books on bowling and won numerous writing awards (including PBA Media Awards) for his articles about the sport he loved. Fitzgerald, 73, died on February 28, 1999, at his home in Vernon Hills, Ill.