“Fast Eddie” dies at 69

Eddie Parker, a legendary money player and an inspiration for Walter Tevis’ book and subsequent film The Hustler, died at the U.S. Classic Billiards amateur 8-Ball Showdown in South Padre Island, Texas, on Friday, Feb. 2. Parker, 69, appeared at the amateur event to participate in an exhibition on Saturday, but was stricken while planning a fishing trip with friend and business partner Woody Woodworth on Friday night. He was pronounced dead at Brownsville Hospital.

Following a brief retirement from pool competition, Parker returned to the road in 1980, performing as many as 200 exhibitions per year. He also worked on a novel, wrote instructional texts, produced instructional videos and maintained other billiards-related ventures. He is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Peggy; a son, Steve; daughter, Susan; and seven grandchildren.