Rudolf Wanderone

American billiards professional Rudolf Walter Wanderone was also known as Minnesota Fats or New York Fats. “Fats” was once the most well-known pool player in the United States, not just as a player but also as an entertainer, despite the fact that he never took first place in a major pool event.

Rudolf Wanderone: Quick Facts

Full name Rudolf Walter Wanderone
Nickname Minnesota Fats, New York Fats, Rudy
Birthdate January 19, 1913
Birthplace New York City, United States
Died on January 15, 1996
Nationality American
Ethnicity Not available
Religion Not Available
Zodiac Sign  Capricon
Father’s name Rudolph Walter Wanderone Sr.
Mother’s name Rosa Bergin
Sibling Three Sisters
Education Not Available
College Not Available
Gender Male
Marital Status  Married
Wife Theresa Ward Bell
Ex-Wife Evelyn Inez Graff
Children  None
Weight   136 Kg/ 300 lbs
Height   175 cm/ 5′9″
Eye Color Blue
Hair Color White
Profession  Professional Billiard Player
Net Worth $1 million
Merch Billiard Pool Stick HolderMinnesota “Fats” Book of Billiards
Last Update July, 2022

What is the Net Worth of Rudolf Wanderone?

Throughout his professional career, Rudolf Walter Wanderone did not participate in any tournaments or win any major pool championships because he was too busy hustle. He did, however, engage in and take part in a variety of activities, including writing books and participating in television programs. According to Billiard Guides, Rudolf Wanderone’s net worth is pegged at $1 million. <<<You may also read Vivianne Miedema>>

Rudolf Wanderone’s Childhood

Rudolf Wanderone was born to Swiss immigrants Rosa and Rudolf Wanderone in New York City. Although he claimed he could have been born as early as 1900, he was actually born in 1913.

Wanderone began playing pool as a young child while growing up in Washington Heights, Manhattan, and is frequently referred to as “Rudy” by friends and family. Similar to this, in 1923 he traveled to Europe with his father and trained under German pool champion Erich Hagenlocher.

Wanderone received pool champion preparation before his first important match, which he defeated “Cowboy” Weston, the former nine-ball champion, in 1926. The American-born individual also quit school in the eighth grade to focus on a career as a traveling pool hustler.

He also spent the most of the 1920s at Cranfield’s in New York City, where he defeated “Smart Henry,” another hustler, to receive his first name. By the middle of the 1930s, Wanderone had taken over management of a pool club operated by a friend in Anacostia, Southeast Washington, D.C. As a result, he gained several new nicknames, including “Triple-Smart Fats,” “New York Fats,” “Broadway Fats,” and “Chicago Fats.”

A Summary of the Books and Shows of Rudolf Wanderone

Wanderone became the executive vice president of the manufacturer of pool tables Rozel Industries thanks to his renown as “Minnesota Fats” He displayed the goods and played exhibition matches there. In a similar vein, Rozel published his first book, Minnesota “Fats” Book of Billiards, in 1965.

On January 17, 1965, he took part in the television game show  What’s My Line? and managed to fool the judges. Likewise, he worked on his autobiography, The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies., in 1966 with Sports Illustrated reporter Tom Fox. His first television game show, Minnesota Fats Hustles the Pros, which debuted in 1967 and featured “Fats” competing against other professional athletes, was similarly titled that way.

The book of Rudolf Wanderone

He wrote and published the instruction paperback  “Minnesota Fats on Pool“, in 1967. On January 24, 1968, Wanderone made an appearance on The Joey Bishop Show. In 1970, he competed against celebrity guest Sid Caesar on the ill-fated television game show “Celebrity Billiards with Minnesota Fats.”

Later, Wanderone adopted the alter ego “Minnesota Fats” and was remarkably depicted on the promotional poster for the motion picture “The Player.” By 1979, he gained notoriety under the moniker “Rudy” and was cast as a famous guest star in the episode “the Usurper” of the hit television detective series Vega$. In recognition of his efforts to popularize pool, he was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame in 1984 for “Meritorious Service.”

Competition with Willie Mosconi

The competition between Wanderone and world champion Willie Mosconi over whether pool should be depicted as a rough-and-tumble gambling game or an elegant pastime was promoted with relish. Similar to that, the two competed in a televised match on ABC’s Wide World of Sports on February 14, 1978, Valentine’s Day.

Rudolf Wanderone with his wife

With almost 11 million spectators, the game ranked second in terms of ratings for the year, only behind the rematch between Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks. The game’s host, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, Howard Cosell, gave the opening remarks. Wanderone entertained the crowd with his banter and humorous temperament despite the fact that he may have lost the game.

On the other hand, Mosconi was perceived as a cold character.

“Fats” lost a number of rematches against Mosconi in the years that followed. Wanderone’s final major television performance was the nationally broadcast Resorts International Shoot-Out in October 1984, where he ultimately triumphed over his adversary.

In addition, Wanderone, Mosconi, Steve Mizerak, and Allen Hopkins engaged in a trick shot challenge to start the match.

Mrs. Rudolf Wanderone

A significant hub for hustlers on the fast track to televised tournament participation, Du Quoin, Illinois, was where Wanderone and his companion Jimmy Castras relocated in 1941. On May 7, 1941, he met Evelyn Inez Graff, whom he married two months later.

After being married, the Wanderones later relocated to Dowell, Illinois. In 1942, the couple finally moved to Norfolk, Virginia. But in 1984, he deserted his wife Evelyn, and a year later, they were divorced. Wanderone moved for a number of years to the Hermitage Hotel in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, in 1985.

Later, in 1992, while having surgery for a knee problem, he suffered a serious heart attack, but he pulled through. In 1993, he wed Teresa Talley Bell, who would become his second wife. Wanderone was aware that he was an only child. The singer Etta James, who described her mother and other people who knew her as “those who were there and should know,” said she believed he was her biological father after learning this information from them.

Despite all of that, there is no evidence to support such a connection. Only one event in 1987 is known to have taken place: a meeting between James and Wanderone. He passed away in Bell’s Nashville home on January 15, 1996, four days before his 83rd birthday. Meanwhile, a lot of other publications, like The New York Times, gave the wrong date for his passing: January 18.


Boys, the only difference between me and everybody else is that everybody else drives around in a Volkswagen, and Minnesota Fats drives around in a Duesenberg.“- Rudolf Wanderone.

The New Yorker was renowned for his ostentation, haughtiness, amazing tales, quick wit, and entertaining banter. Rudolf Wanderone, according to Dyer, never ceased relating stories about himself or talking about subjects he didn’t have much knowledge about.

In a similar vein, Wanderone was an animal lover who was rumored to have simultaneously owned hundreds of cats and dogs. He spent a lot of time looking for homes for stray animals despite his fame. He was also a crowd-pleaser who was willing to promote the game practically anywhere.

Rudolf Wanderone in later years

Wanderone owned a number of limos over the course of his career. He once traveled the nation in a flashy Lincoln limousine that was painted transparently with his extended title, “Minnesota Fats, King of Pool.” “Minnesota Fats, King of Pool,” read the title, which changed hues along with the side panels in response to the sun’s reflections. In a similar vein, until it closed, his 1980 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine was on exhibit at the Nashville Automobile Museum.

Wanderone was recognized for his sharp wit in general. Rudolf Wanderone was known as the “uncrowned king” of pool since he was always too busy hustling and never participated in tournament circles.

Questions and Answers

What contributed to Rudolf Wanderone’s demise?

Theresa, his wife, claims that he passed away from congestive heart failure.