Fred Walther is a billiard enthusiast who has been in the automobile business since selling his first used car (a 1938 Chevy coupe) in 1959. A dean’s list graduate of Southern Illinois University, he and Margie, his wife of 43 years, were privileged to befriend and hear a multitude of fascinating stories told by pool great Minnesota Fats (Rudolf Walter Wanderon). They visited their friend often in the lobby of Nashville’s palatial old Hermitage Hotel, where Fats lived. A friendship and business relationship developed from 1985 until Fats’ death in 1996. These intriguing stories prompted him to write his first book — Minnesota Fats, Never Behind The Eight Ball published in 1998.
Unsettled and pushed by an insatiable desire to further research and investigate Wanderon’s family roots and those incredible stories which contained many mysterious clues dropped by Minnesota Fats, he has spent the last 12 years (including several trips to Germany and Switzerland) searching for closure as to why Minnesota Fats became an American icon and what the keys to Fats’ success were.
He and Margie have 3 children, Katie, Becky, and Erich and 5 grandchildren Nicole, Luke, Esther, Abby, and Jack, all of whom live in the Murfreesboro, Tennessee area.