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Saturday, September 18, 1993 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Willie Mosconi, 80; Was Champion Billiards Player

AP

HADDON HEIGHTS, N.J. - Willie Mosconi, a world champion billiards player over nearly two decades, died at his home here. He was 80.

Mr. Mosconi, who lived in Haddon Heights for nearly 40 years, died Sept. 17 of a heart attack. An inductee in the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame, he won the world title 15 times between 1940 and 1957.

Among Mr. Mosconi's career highlights was his 1941 world championship title in the longest billiard tournament event in the game's history, according to Pool & Billiard Magazine's June issue.

That round-robin event featured the top eight players, each of whom would play every other player 32 times.

Participants played five days a week over a six-month period in six cities. Mr. Mosconi set many records during the tournament, including the fastest game of record with 125 points in 30 minutes.

Other records Mr. Mosconi still holds from other matches include his exhibition high run of 526 balls in the game of straight pool.

The Philadelphia native was a technical adviser for the 1960 movie, "The Hustler," loosely based on the life of his longtime pool rival Rudolph Wanderone, better known as Minnesota Fats. Mr. Mosconi also helped Tom Cruise when he co-starred with Paul Newman in the 1986 sequel, "The Color of Money."

"Willie's Game," an autobiography based on Mosconi's life, was released in June.

Surviving are his wife, Flora, a son and two daughters.

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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