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Minnesota Fats
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Athlete
    (January 19, 1913-January 15, 1996)
    Birth name was Rudolph Walter Wanderone, Jr.
    Hosted the TV series 'Celebrity Billiards (1967)'
    Died of congestive heart failure at age 82
    Some biographies list the year of his birth as 1900.
    He never confirmed the year, though records indicate it was 1913.
    He dropped out of high school to hustle pool in Times Square.
    He learned some hustling techniques from Arnold Rothstein, Rothstein is infamous for 'fixing' the 1919 World Series.
    He was nicknamed 'New York Fats.' He changed it to 'Minnesota' after the Paul Newman billiards movie 'The Hustler' came out (1961).
    He claimed the Jackie Gleason character in the movie was based on him, but the writer denied it.
    He could 'talk the talk,' but lost to rival player Willie Mosconi in nearly all their legendary matches.
    He was married to the same woman for 54 years.
    He was a 'blue collar' billiards player, once quoting, 'A pool player in a tuxedo is like whipped cream on a hot dog.'
    He is enshrined in the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame (1984).
    He was a humorous, flamboyant and colorful character.
    Tables and cue sticks bearing his name sell, well.
    This is apropos, since he once said, 'Money is the root of all good.'
    His epitaph reads 'Beat everybody living on Earth. Now, St. Peter, rack 'em up.'
    The Twilight Zone episode 'A Game of Pool' with Jonathan Winters portraying 'Fats' Brown was loosely based on him.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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