Bowling Hall of Famer Mark Roth Dies at 70: 'He Is a Hero'

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Bowling Hall of Famer Mark Roth Dies at 70
Bowling Hall of Famer Mark Roth Dies at 70

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Professional bowler Mark Roth has died. He was 70.

Roth, who made a name for himself in the sport in the '70s and '80s, died Friday after a battle with heart and health issues, which he'd been facing since a stroke left him partially paralyzed in 2009, Bowl.com reports.

The athlete used a trademark technique that "revolutionized" bowling, and he won 34 titles while playing the sport professionally, The Staten Island Advance reports.

During his time competing on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour, Roth won multiple titles, including a record-breaking turn in 1978 when he took home eight tour titles, per Bowl.com. Roth was later inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1987, and joined the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 2009, according to the Advance.

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Tom Clark, PBA commissioner and director of sport and competitions for the International Bowling Federation (IBF), confirmed the news of Roth's death on Twitter Friday. The Advance reports that Clark received a call from Roth's wife, Denise, sharing the news.

"Hello. I have bad news," he wrote. "Moments ago, I received the phone call from Denise Roth that we've be [sic] dreading. The Great Mark Roth passed away today. Denise asked me to let you know, and thank you all for the kindness. I can't believe he is gone. He is a hero. Mark is at peace now."

Roth was recognized as one of the 50 greatest players in PBA history, landing at No. 5 on the list in 2009. He also won PBA Player of the Year four times, taking home the honor in 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1984.

Roth died days after his wife asked for prayers for her husband on Facebook as his health worsened.

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"Please keep Mark in your prayers," she wrote in a Nov. 21 post, per The Advance. "He's suffering from congestive heart failure again but with complications from pneumonia this time around. He is very sick."

She added, "I sincerely didn't want to make this post, but he needs prayers from family, friends, his bowling family, his fans and anyone who be kind enough to send prayers."

Roth was born in Brooklyn in 1951 and later moved to Staten Island before settling in New Jersey. He lived in Fulton, New York, at the time of his death.

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