Hurst is the first person to ever be inducted in the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of pocket billiards (pool) in which he became a tremendous performer. Hurst was born in 1929 in Ripley to Arthur and Florence Waterman Hurst and lived almost his entire life in Chautauqua County except for his tour of duty in the United States Navy from 1950-1954. During those years in the service, he was an electrical specialist in Navy Construction Battalions while stationed in the United States and overseas, which included the Korean War conflict.
His love for the game of pool began at the age of 12 when he started playing in Sherman at the former Lee Savage Bowling Alley, Poolroom and Barber Shop and continued that for more than 55 years. Hurst was an all-around athlete at Sherman where he played five varsity sports before he graduated in 1948: baseball, basketball, football, volleyball and bowling.