George Fels, whose book, "Mastering Pool," and monthly "Tips & Shafts" column in Billliards Digest taught and entertained pool lovers from more than 30 years, died Dec. 31 in Chicago after suffering a heart attack. Fels was 75.
According to Fels' son, Adam, George collapsed at home Dec, 27. He was rushed to Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, but never regained consciousness. Per his wishes, George was removed from life support after neurologists confirmed extensive brain damage from the heart attack. He died late in evening in New Years Eve.
Born and raised in Chicago, Fels love of pool began early in life. An award-winning creative writer for some of the city's biggest advertising agencies, Fels slipped away many afternoons to shoot pool at downtown Chicago's famed Bensingers, about which he wrote on numerous occasions.
After publishing the book, "Mastering Pool," in the late '70s, Fels began contributing monthly columns to Billiards Digest in 1981. Over the next 33 years, Fels penned nearly 300 columns for the magazine. His columns were entertaining recollections of the game and its characters. His style was crisp, precise and hilariously descriptive. As billiard historian Mike Shamos of the Billiard Archive noted, "George said more in one page than most writers could in an entire book."
Since 1978, Billiards Digest magazine has been the pool world’s best source for news, tournament coverage, player profiles, bold editorials, and advice on how to play pool. Our instructors include superstars Nick Varner and Jeanette Lee. Every issue features the pool accessories and equipment you love — pool cues, pool tables, instruction aids and more. Columnists Mike Shamos and R.A. Dyer examine legends like Willie Mosconi and Minnesota Fats, and dig deep into the histories of pool games like 8-ball, 9-ball and straight pool.