The inaugural James C. Melby Award was presented to Melby at the 2006 George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame induction banquet on July 15. The award was created to recognize a journalist or historian who has advanced professional wrestling through his or her writing. Melby has been the foremost leader in this area.
While working for Kietzer Publishing, Melby was the editor of “The Wrestling News,” “Wrestling Revue,” “Wrestling Monthly,” and “The Ring’s Wrestling Magazine. Along with Norman Kietzer, he was editor of “Major League Wrestling Programs” for numerous promotions includinig the AWA, WWF, NWA, WWA, Mid South Wrestling, Southwest Championship Wrestling, and numerous independent groups. Melby was also the editor of Verne Gagne’s “Pro Wrestling Report”.
Melby has also authored two books, the first of which is entitled “Mat Wars” and was published in 1985. His most recent work came out this year and is called “Gopherland Grappling: The Early Years”.
“It has always been important to me to apply the high journalistic standards that I had been taught in college,” said Melby after being presented the award. “History is important and should be accurately documented, and once it is committed to print that it belongs to everyone.”