Minnesota Fats may be the most unique and entertaining person pool has ever seen.
He was a one-man quote machine, and there are a lot of great stories about him. Let’s start with some claims Minnesota Fats made at one time or another in his life:
He sailed around the world six times, and survived two shipwrecks. He had sex with harem girls. He was forced to perform fellatio at gunpoint by a pistol-packing beauty.* He beat Hitler at pool. He hobnobbed with kings, queens, and celebrities including Clark Gable, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Damon Runyon and Al Capone. Etta James claimed to be his illegitimate daughter. Willie Mosconi wore earplugs when playing Fats. He had a bunch of nicknames: Minnesota Fats, New York Fats. Brooklyn Fats, Broadway Fats, Chicago Fats, Fatty, The Fat Man, The Fat One, Double Smart Fats, Triple Smart Fats, Rudy, The Bank Shot Bandit and The Dean of the Green. Richie Florence once spotted Minnesota Fats 8-7 playing one pocket and ended up losing $52,000. In a published interview years later, Florence said that Fats was so funny, he was belly laughing the whole time.
Here are some of Fats’ best quotes:
“If Cornbread Red ever plays me, he’ll be known as No Bread Red.” “”I beat them all,” he says. “There was Blue Hamilton, the Bromo Seltzer King, Sniffy Moore who sniffed from morning till night. The Yellow Kid. Ralph Greenleaf, and his wife Princess Nai Tai Tai, who was beautiful beyond compare. Wimpy Lassiter, Tuscaloosa Squirrelly and Cornbread Red. Some of the greatest action men of all time. I ironed ’em all out.” “A pool player in a tuxedo is like whipped cream on a hot dog.” “My grandfather took me to the pool hall when I was a baby, and they’d put me on a table while they played. My crib was a pool table.” “Money is the root of all good.” “I’m the laziest guy in the world.” “Titanic Thompson got his name cause he was on the Titanic in 1912. He put on ladies’ clothes to save himself, and got off the boat first.” “I know three, maybe four, people in the world that can drink and shoot.” “I dated Mae West when she was a young woman.” “If it wasn’t for me, ‘The Hustler’ never would have been as fantastic as it was because everyone on earth knew me.”
When asked why he wasn’t drafted, Fats’ replied:
“Why wasn’t I drafted? I played in Army and Navy hospitals till it came out of their ears so they bypassed me on account of all them charity things. And me, I wouldn’t shoot a fly myself. They would be wasting their time, drafting me.”
Fats’ views on his fellow man:
“I’m the most intelligent man I know; the more I hang around with you imbeciles the more I realize I am the most intelligent man I know. I could spot Einstein the 10 ball. I know everything that everybody else knows, and nobody knows what I know.” “Ordin