Fuller B. Gordy, admired and respected for his insightful and compassionate approach to life, was a thoughtful and savvy business executive. Fuller was also an understanding, skillful mentor and dedicated family man.
Fuller’s All Star Bowling Team — Detroit, Michigan (circa 1960)
As a Motown executive and member of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Fuller’s concern, and wide-ranging influence are legendary. In his role as Motown’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Fuller helped to create and administer company policy. Fuller also initiated many of the Motown family’s philanthropic endeavors.
From his influential seat on the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Fuller is credited with spearheading the Chamber’s increased awareness and recognition of the contributions of minorities in the entertainment industry. His influence is said to have broadened the Chamber’s focus on deserving applicants, resulting in several well deserved stars, on the renowned Hollywood “WALK Of FAME.”
Born into a family that thrived on healthy competition, this oldest brother of Motown founder Berry Gordy, also loved sports. Fuller, like his younger brother, was an amateur boxer and enjoyed golf, baseball and bowling, especially bowling. In working class 50’s and 60’s Detroit, bowling was a frequently occurring, neighborhood past time. Fuller greatly excelled at the sport and for several years, conducted bowling workshops, teaching others his winning technique.
Fuller’s exceptional bowling skill led him to gain great notoriety on his way to becoming an award winning professional. Fuller earned the nickname, “Mr. 700,” because of his ability to consistently roll games of 200 points or more, resulting in repeated three-game 700 series. In 1959, Fuller Gordy was accepted into the prestigious, Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), the first black bowler, to be inducted, from the state of Michigan. In later years, he would help to establish the popular, Motown Bowling League.
Fuller died of a heart attack on November 9, 1991. Friends and associates still fondly share “Fuller stories,” recalling his lasting influence on their lives. Often heard is, “I could not have become successful in business or become the person I am today, if not for Fuller Gordy” and others have said, “Fuller Gordy saved my life!”
In 2008, during a bowling outing with her daughter, Karla Gordy Bristol and friends, Iris Gordy thought of her beloved father and realized that bowling would be a most fitting way to honor his memory. She shared the idea with Karla and together they launched the first “FRIENDS OF FULLER STRIKEFEST!”