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About the Owner

Royal Duncan, President

Born May 6, 1952, in Bloomington, Illinois, Royal Duncan spent his childhood in central and northern Illinois, graduating from Rockford West High School in 1970.

Royal began his post-secondary education at Bradley University in 1970. He then transferred to Rock Valley Junior College where he earned his Associate’s degree in Business Management and Administration (1971–1972). Upon completing his Associate’s degree, Royal returned to Bradley in 1972 and attended classes there until 1974 where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Administration.

After college, Royal worked in sales and sales management for WPOK—a radio station in Pontiac, Illinois—before pursuing a career in sports publishing and promotions. He was also employed in advertising sales for Sports Services, 4-B Advertising, and Athletic Services, Inc.. From there he moved on to Sports Action Services in Los Angeles, CA, where he was a sales manager. In 1979 he opened his own business—Royal Publishing Company—in Peoria, IL.

Royal Publishing produces souvenir program books for athletic events nationwide. With events ranging from high school sports to skateboarding, from sled dog racing to auto and motorcycle racing, and with clients ranging from California to Connecticut, Royal Publishing is the nation’s leading producer of sports program books, producing over 1,500 programs annually. Royal has provided programs for many athletic associations including the following: Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), Illinois High School Association (IHSA), Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA), Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA), Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA), Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU), Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA).

Aside from high school athletics, Royal has cultivated relationships with such varied organizations as the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, Arena Football League and AF2, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, World Series of Drag Racing, Sprint Car Hall of Fame, and the National Skateboard Association (where Royal Publishing’s programs were distributed at Madison Square Gardens).


He has worked with with many well known sports figures including Ted Johnson & Earl Baltes (International Sprint Car Racing Hall of Fame Members), Don Garlits (International Drag Racing Hall of Fame), Arnie “the Farmer” Beswick (International Drag Racing Hall of Fame), Paul Westphal (NBA), and Paul Judson (U of I Basketball).

Royal has also formed ties with many theatre groups including: Circa 21, Cornwell, Conklin, and Zellmer Dinner Theatre groups, as well as Peoria Players– the nation’s oldest and longest continuously running community theatre. These plays have included such stars as Barry Williams (Greg Brady of the Brady Bunch), Josh Taylor of All My Children, and the legendary military heroes Ken Berry (F-Troop, Captain Wilton Parmenter), and Larry Linville (M*A*S*H’s Major Frank Burns).

In 1984, Royal and Dave Coker formed Mania Productions which syndicated professional wrestling and roller derby television shows throughout the Midwest. Mania also promoted live wrestling events in coordination with the World Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling, and the American Wrestling Association— including the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” of 1985 and the first closed-circuit Wrestlemania on March 31, 1985. Some of the wrestling superstars that have appeared on Mania’s cards include Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Mad Dog Vachon, and Rowdy Roddy Piper. Royal promoted tours for basketball Hall of Famer Marques Haynes (Former Harlem Globetrotter and Basketball Hall of Famer) and his Harlem Magicians, as well as female softball phenom Rosie “The Queen and Her Court” Black.

On his own or with partners, Royal promoted sports events such as a Women’s U.S.A. Olympic Volleyball match (Team U.S.A. vs. the Czech Nationals), boxing matches with boxers like Bonecrusher Smith, Jumbo Cummings, and Marvis Frazier (son of Joe), and an NBA preseason game between the Philadelphia 76ers, with Charles Barkley and Hersey Hawkins, and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Royal filled in as co-host of a popular talk-radio show devoted to sports (the Mort Cantor Show) on radio station WTAZ. He won a “Taste of Peoria” (a Peoria outdoor food fest) award for his restaurant “Stoogez” and their Chicago Dog. In addition, he has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Cauliflower Alley Club, an international organization of wrestlers, boxers, and actors for over 30 years and has been a member for over 35 years. Other members include Lou Thesz, Kirk Douglas, Woody Strode, Humphrey Bogart, Nick Bockwinkel, Verne Gagne, Joe Garagiola, and Dan Gable.

His other activities include publishing two pro wrestling books: Wrestling Title Histories (editions 1–4) and Wrestling Real Names and Aliases. The former has been called “the Bible of the Sport” (New York Times Magazine), “the ultimate argument settler” (Cliff Ducey, Boston Herald), and “the greatest reference work ever published on pro wrestling” (Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer). Wrestling Title Histories was reviewed by the Sunday Magazine in the NY Times, and references to it can be found on Wikipedia in many wrestlers’ bios.

Royal has also helped sponsor many motorcycle flat track Grand National Champions such as Joe Kopp, Jared Mees, Kenny Coolbeth, Jake Johnson, Henry Wiles, Brian Bauman, Bryan Smith, Shayna Texter, Cory Texter, and Sammy Halbert. Other sponsored racers include ATV racer Doug Gust and drag racer Animal Jim Feurer.

Royal is listed in the 13th edition of “Who’s Who in the World,” as well as other “Who’s Who” publications.

In 2004, Royal was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame.