Grady Mathews Passes
“The Professor” Dedicated life to Billiards
Professional pool player, promoter, author, Hall of Fame player and legend Grady “The Professor” Mathews passed away on April 18, 2012. He was 69 years old.
Born January 3, 1943, Mathews gravitated to the sport of billiards in the 1950’s while living in San Mateo, California by the age of 14. By the 1960’s his life drew him to the road where he honed his skills playing striaght pool, 9-ball and one pocket, a game which would prove to be his calling card. He would spend the next three and a hlaf decades winning titles in all major disciplines of the game, but he would ultimately be known for his mastery of one pocket.
Mathews regularly contributed as an instruction columnist to Inside POOL Magazine over the last decade and has been a contributor to other billiards publications like Billiards Digest and The Snap. Mathews also delved into the promotion of the sport that he loved and dedicated his life.
In 1986, Mathews played the character “Dud” in Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning film The Color of Money, the sequel to The Hustler, with the legendary Paul Newman and Tom Cruise, which was loosely based on the novel by Walter Tevis.
In the 1990’s, Mathews produced and created the Legends of One Pocket series which highlighted the game of one pocket and the legendary players that mastered the game. His own mastery and legendary prowess was recognized in 2004 when he was inducted into the One Pocket Hall of Fame.
During the late 1990’s Mathews created an exhibition tour with Allison Fisher. The tour was a challenge series which pitted the two champions against each other in a race of 9-ball. He also authored a book, Bet High and Kiss low, which became a favorite among pocket billiards enthusiasts. Mathews also created two instructional DVDs, Killer One Pocket and Sixteen Steps.
Later in life, Mathews moved to Columbia, South Carolina and managed his pool room, Grady’s Billiards. Mathews continued to compete professionally, as well as putting on exhibitions, pool clinics, and private lessons throughout the country. He had two children, Marie and Grady IV and survived his wife Randi, who died August 7, 2009.
Mathews promoted and produced the following pool tournaments:
- 1983 All Around Pocket Billiards Open, (Tampa, Florida)
- 1985 Motor City Open, (Detroit, Michigan)
- 1990 and 1991, Legends of One-Pocket Championship, (Columbia, South Carolina)
- 1991 Legends of One-Pocket Championship, (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- 1993 Legends of One-Pocket Championship, (Reno, Nevada)
- 1994 Legends of One-Pocket Championship, (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- 1995 The Maine Event 14.1 Championship, (Portland, Maine)
- 1995 Legends of One-Pocket Championship, (Olathe, Kansas)
- 1995 Back Pocket Nine-Ball Open, (Hampton, Virginia)
- 1998 Legends of One-Pocket Championship, (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
- 1999 World One-pocket Championship, (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
- 1999 Seniors Nine-ball Championship, (Portland, Maine)
- 2000 World One-Pocket Championship, (Portland, Maine)
- 2003 Seniors Nine-ball Championship, (Naples, Florida)
- 2004 Gulf Coast Classic, (Gulfport, Mississippi)
- 1983 Red’s Open One-pocket (Houston, Texas)
- 1984 World One-pocket
- 1984 River City Open One-pocket (Austin, Texas)
- 1984 Busch World Nine-ball (Moline, Illinois)
- 1985 Red’s Open One-pocket (Houston, Texas)
- 1995 Legends of One-pocket (Olathe, Kansas)