Rudolf Wanderone

Rudolf Wanderone: Hustling, Marriage & Net Worth

Rudolf Wanderone was a professional billiards player from the United States.

Rudolf was also known as Minnesota Fats or York Fats. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Billiard Congress of America.

Rudolf Wanderone, later in his life, playing a game of pool
Rudolf Wanderone, later in his life, playing a game of pool

Rudolf, on the other hand, was a traveling pool hustler as a teenager.

Detailed information about Rudolf’s early life, later life, net worth, personal life, and death is mentioned in this article.

Quick Facts

Here are some quick facts about Rudolf Walter Wanderone:

Full Name Rudolf Walter Wanderone
Birth Date January 19, 1913
Birth Place New York City, USA
Death Date January 15, 1996
Nationality American 
Ethnicity Not Available
Hobbies Billiards
Food Habit Non-vegetarian 
Education Not Available
Zodiac Sign Capricon
Father’s Name Rudolph Walter Wanderone Sr. 
Mother’s Name Rosa Bergin
Siblings Three sisters
Age [calculate_years datestring=”01/19/1913″] Years Old
Height 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm)
Reach Not Available
Weight 300 lb (136 kg)
Eye Color Blue
Hair Color White
Profession Professional Billiard Player
Coach Not Available
Marital Status Married
Wife Evelyn Inez Graff (1941-1984) Teressa Talley Bell (1993 – 1996)
Active Years Not Available
Children None
Net Worth $1 million
Social Media None
Merch Minnesota Fats on Pool
Last Update [current-month], [current-year]

Rudolf Wanderone: Age, Height, and Weight

Rudolf Wanderone’s birthday was on January 19, 1913, and he was born on a Sunday.

The King of Pool was eighty-two years old when he passed away. Rudolf’s zodiac sign was Capricorn.

Moreover, his birth flowers were Carnation and Snowdrop.

The late billiard player was 175 cm tall or 5 feet 9 inches. Furthermore, Wanderone weighed a massive 300 pounds or 136 kgs. 

Rudolf Wanderone: Early Life

Wanderone’s family nicknamed him “Roodle” when he was a child.  Roodle was born in New York City on January 19, 1993.

Rudolf Walter Wanderone Sr. and Rosa Bergin were his parents. Rudolf Sr. did a variety of work.

Initially, as a merchant seaman later, Rudolf Sr. was a plumber and then a heating contractor. 

Meanwhile, his mother was a homemaker. Furthermore, Rudolf is the brother of three sisters.

Rudolf also claimed that he pulled his first pool hustle when he was six years old.

Moreover, he also claimed that he won a bag of gumdrops from a ten-year-old.

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Rudolf Wanderone: Personal Life

Minnesota Fats

Wanderone’s fame as “Minnesota Fats” led to a position as executive vice-president of billiard table manufacturer at Rozel Industries.

He then proceeded only to play exhibition matches and also gave demonstrations.

Wanderone’s first book, Minnesota “Fats” Book of Billiards, was published by Rozel in 1965.

Furthermore, Minessota Fats appeared on the television game show What’s My Line?. 

Personal Character

Wanderone was known for his flamboyance, arrogance, tall tales, quick talk, and amusing banter.

Muhammad Ali, the world’s most famous boaster, publicly acknowledged him as superior at boasting.

He made so many false claims about beating Willie Mosconi. That led to Mosconi filing a slander suit. But the suit was unsuccessful.

Wanderone, according to Dyer, was infamous for his nonstop chatter on subjects about which he knew little or stories about himself.

Wanderone was an animal lover who was said to have had dozens of cats and dogs simultaneously. In fact, Rudolf was obsessed with animals.

He allegedly stated, “I’m a sucker for any living thing, no matter what it is. I even enjoy insects”.

Moreover, he claimed that he wouldn’t swat a fly or a mosquito for a barrel of gold.

A big man with a big heart

Joe Brewer of Dowell said that the only thing bigger than his stories was his heart.

Although York Fats gambled away a lot of money but also gave a lot away at Christmas to children and families in need.

Aside from a bet, one of the other things Rudolf could never say was “no,” as previously stated, pretty much to anyone he met.

Rudolf Wanderone Jr., famously known as “Minnesota Fats” and “The King of Pool” is seen instructing CMU students of the early sixties in the how-to of shot making
Rudolf Wanderone Jr., famously known as “Minnesota Fats” and “The King of Pool,” is seen instructing CMU students of the early sixties in the how-to of shot-making

Moreover, the King of Pool kept dozens of cats and dogs in his yard and a chicken.

Rudolf fed them scraps from the Du Quoin KFC and area grocery stores.

If someone’s pet became ill, Minnesota fats always took the pet to a vet and paid the bill.

Rudolf Wanderone: Career

In 1923, Rudolf accompanied his father to Europe. Furthermore, he began intensive training in billiards for about three years.

Rudolf defeated former nine-ball champion “Cowboy” Weston in his very first competition.

Wanderone attributed his early interest in billiards to his uncle. His uncle was the one who introduced him to the game at a very early age.

His uncle frequently took him to poolrooms and sat him on open tables.

York Fats was a skilled shooter who excelled at the money games One-Pocket and Bank Pool.

But his true talent was in “making a game,” calculating how much of a disadvantage he needed to give his opponent to keep the money flowing.

Minnesota Fats previously avoided tournaments. Because he could only earn $2000 when playing for three weeks.

When he could win more money in a single night by hustling.

His lack of refereed public victories effectively nullifies any genuine critical assessment of his cue prowess.

But, between 1948 and 1955, he was one of the best in private money games in his prime.

Rudolf Wanderone vs. Willie Mosconi 

Wanderone and Willie Mosconi (the traditional rivals) also had a one-on-one match on February 14, 1974, which aired on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

The show drew a record of 11 million viewers and was named the second-highest-rated show of all time.

Wanderone lost the game, but he kept the audience entertained with his antics.

Rudolf Wanderone: Net Worth

Wanderone never won a main pool championship or competed in a tournament during his professional career because he was too busy hustling.

In 1984, he was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame for his contribution to promoting pool as an entertainer. 

Initially, Wanderone’s primary source of income was only playing exhibition games. 

Rudolf Walter Wanderone’s net worth is estimated to be $1 million.

The King of Pool began appearing on television for this purpose, and on January 17, 1965, he appeared on the game show What’s My Line? 

Later that year, Minnesota Fats appeared on another television game show.

He appeared in Celebrity Billiards, where they competed against guest celebrity players. 

Rudolf Wanderone: Books

To begin, Wanderone’s autobiography, entitled “The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies,” was written in 1966 with Tom Fox.

Secondly, in 1998, Fred Walther published Minnesota Fats —Never Behind the Eight Ball. The book is a well-written biography.

Furthermore, George Fels’s Sports Heritage article “Where the Boys Were” was published in 1987.

Finally, on January 19, 1996, the New York Times published an obituary.

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Wanderone and his friend Jimmy Castras arrived in southern Illinois in 1941. Southern Illinois, in 1941, was considered a major hustling center.

Moreover, the city was also a fast track to televised tournament play.

He eventually met Evelyn Inez Graff on May 7, 1941. Rudolf and Evelyn married two months later. 

The Wanderones settled in Dowell, Illinois, after their wedding. The couple relocated to Norfolk, Virginia, in 1942.

Norfolk had evolved into a vital mustering point for US troops as well as a shipbuilding center.

The growing population created a huge interest in gambling, and Wanderone, along with fellow hustler Lassiter, quickly recognized the financial opportunities.

Rudolf Wanderone: Later Life

Wanderone was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame in 1984 for “Meritorious Service.”

He was inducted in recognition for his contributions in popularizing the game of pool.

Wanderone abandoned his wife, Evelyn, in 1984. The couple divorced a year later, in 1985.

Moreover, Wanderone relocated to the Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

The couple moved there in 1985 and stayed for several years.

He had a massive heart attack in 1992 while undergoing surgery for a knee injury, but he survived.

Furthermore, the late American then met and married his second wife, Theresa Ward Bell, in 1993.

However, Wanderone did not have any known children.

Rudolf Wanderone and his alleged daughter Etta James
Rudolf Wanderone and his alleged daughter Etta James

Etta James, who is a singer, stated that she believed he was her biological father. After being told so by her mother and others who knew her mother.

There is, however, no published evidence of such a connection.

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Rudolf Wanderone: Death

Wanderone was well-known for his quick wit. As a result, he was dubbed the “uncrowned king” of the pool.

Since he never actively participated in tournament circles. Because reportedly he was too busy hustling. 

In addition, he responded as “You can tell a lot about a king by the size of his wallet and palace. So you are free to dispose of the crown in the toilet.”

Wanderone suffered a severe heart attack in 1992 but survived.

However, on January 15, 1996, he suffered another fatal cardiac arrest and died in Nashville, Tennessee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Did Willie Mosconi beat Minnesota Fats?

In 1978, on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” the two finally met in a highly publicized live, televised match.

Moreover, Howard Cosell was serving as moderator. 

In conclusion, with rapid-fire, accurate shooting, the normally well-dressed Willie Mosconi easily defeated the talkative, disheveled Minnesota Fats.

Was Rudolf Wanderone gay?

Many people enjoy spreading rumors about celebrities’ sexuality and sexual orientation.

We don’t know exactly if Rudolf Wanderone was gay, bisexual, or straight.

Many people assumed his sexual orientation was straight.

What are some alternative names for Rudolf Wanderone? 

Rudolf Wanderone’s aliases include Broadway Fats, Chicago Fats, Double-Smart, Minnesota Fats, New York Fats, and Triple-Smart Fats.

Why was Rudolf Wanderone called Minessota Fats?

Wanderone, who went by the nickname “New York Fats” at times.

As a pool player, he adopted the nickname “Minnesota Fats” from the character of the same name in the 1961 film The Hustler.

On the other hand, Rudolf falsely claimed that the character. In fact, Jackie Gleason played the character.

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