View Full Version : Gene Nagy gravely ill

Fran Crimi
07-12-2006, 11:16 AM
As much as I've dreaded this I feel it's time to post that Gene Nagy is gravely ill in the hospital and not expected to survive. For those who know Gene, they know that he's a New York Legend, and clearly one of the greatest players of all time. His high run of 436 on a 9 foot table is nothing short of remarkable. I've watched him run 10 consecutive racks of 9 ball without effort. The list goes on and on. He trained Jeanette Lee and is a surrogate father to her. He was my friend for over 20 years and he's 'adopted' many of us along the way. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers that his passing will be peaceful, which is his wish.


07-12-2006, 11:27 AM
Wow! Truly sad news, Fran.

Godspeed, Gene.


07-12-2006, 11:49 AM
Damn! We're about to lose another legend. Maybe not so well known as others, but to pool people "in the know" Gene will be remembered as a remarkable player. Mosconi said, after watching Gene in one of his few straight pool tournament appearances, "That's the best I've ever seen the balls taken off the table." I saw him only once and didn't get to seem him play much, but I'd heard of him before I even saw him. The above quote from Mosconi and a bit about Gene's life is in the OOP book "Billiards: Hustlers and Heroes, Legends and Lies, and the Search for Higher Truth on the Green Felt" by John Grissim. DAMN IT!! The tears are coming as I type. Too many, too many.

07-12-2006, 01:15 PM

I'm very sorry to hear this. I know you are his friend and I hope this sorrow passes peacefully as well.

I too read about Gene from Grissim's book. I also recall reading somewhere that he was a musician and studied at Julliard (?) but quit to spend more time playing pool.

I wish I could have met him.


07-12-2006, 02:33 PM
Fran, it's sad news, but thanks for bringing it to our attention. I didn't know Gene, but knew about him from Grissim's book. I don't think Grissim will be angry about violating the copyright laws to "steal" this photo of Gene from his book. Gene was one of the "good guys" of pool and a world-class player.


07-12-2006, 10:24 PM
Fran, Truly sorry to hear that Gene is gravely ill, met him several years ago at La Cue in Maspeth and quickly became friends with him, practiced with him every week or so for about two years. Aside from being an unbelievable pool player, he was one really nice person. I really hope that he pulls through and if I was still living in New York and he was recieving visitors, I would certainly visit him. God bless him and I'm sure that you will let him know how many people are wishing him well. Please keep me posted and if there is something I can do, let me know. Jimmy

07-13-2006, 05:51 AM
Fran sorry to hear about Gene, I only have a few memories of Gene. Once sitting with him in the balcony of the Roosevelt Hotel, both of our matches had been postponed till nine o'clock in the morning. It seemed that our opponents had mistaken their 9pm game for 9am and were off hustling pool in NYC.

I know I didn't win my game as for Gene I don't remember whether he won of not. Peace Gene.####

Steve Lipsky
07-13-2006, 08:24 AM
Fran, I am so sorry to hear this. I never knew Gene, nor saw him play, but from everything I've been told, he was nothing short of a legendary player.

My deepest sympathies to you and to all who knew him.

Fran, would you consider posting this on AZ as well? I think they have a wider audience and some of Gene's friends might not see it here.

- Steve

Fran Crimi
07-13-2006, 10:24 AM
Feel free to pass the word around, Steve. That's why I posted this. I only post here but you can post about Gene on other message boards if you'd like.


Fran Crimi
07-13-2006, 10:59 AM
Thanks, Barbara. Gene is leaving behind many friends who truly care about him. It won't be the same around here without him.

Yes, he did attend Julliard and he was first trumpet in the Julliard orchestra. No small feat. Most of us would be satisfied with being the first anything at Julliard, but not Gene. He was a perfectionist, and he wasn't satisfied with his playing skills. When he learned what had to be done in order to bring his skill level closer to perfection, he decided to quit. He would literally have to relearn the trumpet with a different lip placement. By then he had already developed an interest in pool and the decision was clear to him. Achieving perfection in the trumpet was a no-go, but there were possibilities on the pool table, as he had already begun to take interest in the game and was intrigued by it.

Fran ~~~ P.S. Thanks to all for your comments. We'll pass them along to him.

07-13-2006, 03:25 PM
For those that didn't know, Gene passed away yesterday.


Fran Crimi
07-13-2006, 04:24 PM
Gene passed away peacefully this afternoon, not yesterday.

Funeral information is as follows:

One Day Wake, This Sunday, 2-4 and 7-9 PM

Kearns Funeral Home, Rego Park, NY


Voodoo Daddy
07-13-2006, 04:58 PM
Sad news...thankfully he suffers no more. R.I.P. Gene

07-14-2006, 08:23 AM
I forgot to mention that in Grissim's book, there is a great story about Gene and Jersey Red playing one pocket. Shot by shot, with their jawing back and forth. If you don't have this book, you should try to find it. Comes up on ebay sometimes or you could do as I did and ask a rare book dealer to find it for you.

07-14-2006, 11:00 AM
Fran does the funeral home have a website where you can post messages? Rest in Peace Gene.Dick

07-17-2006, 04:41 AM
Thank you Fran, for always being there and being one of his truest friends. God bless you! and now a few memories of my own...Gene Nagy... The man who gave up Julliard for Billiard! Gene Nagy, my billiard mentor and very close friend...Please do a search for his name <font color="blue"> </font color> <font color="blue"> </font color> any lead that mentions pool, billiards and the like. There you will come to know a little bit about a simple, yet GREAT man. He will always be remembered, like a brother, to me. I loved my friend, my mentor, my buddy, Gene. You will read other's comments, on a very good human being and know in your heart, what I have felt, all these years, for a true friend. A heartwarming friend, of the most rare stock.
His mom, Terry, who was my bowling partner right up till the day the Maspeth Lanes, bowling alley, closed their doors. (It was there, I first met Gene, when he came to pick up his mom). She was in her 90's and was awesome, competition for most ladies and even some men! She was a 167 average and that's nothing to sneeze at. A tiny, fireball, with the vim and vigor of a teen! A sweetheart that no one could get the best of...she always called him Eugene and we'd joke that she was going to come to "La Cue", knowing he wouldn't want her to step foot inside any pool hall, no matter how much class it offered.nd his dad, Eugene a tall, thin, quiet man, who's demeanor was kind and very knowledgable, much like his son. He don't have to miss them anymore. Finally, his aunt Jean, whom I bowled with, as well and saw in all three, just where, Gene got his very special and wonderful qualities and talents.
All I can say about the man, is that he was one of the greatest souls ever to walk the earth. May he rest in peace and his dreams of the afterlife, be real to him, now. May God always bless the Nagy family.

Fran Crimi
07-17-2006, 08:35 PM
Hi Ginger,

Thanks for posting such a nice tribute to Gene and his family. Hey, we gave him a great send-off on Sunday, didn't we? I bet he was smiling down on us.


07-18-2006, 04:46 AM
Hi Fran, Yes we did and I know he was smiling down on us for sure, as he was always ready with a smile for us. We will always remember how he made us laugh so hard we almost cried. The little tribute was nothing in comparison to what he deserved, as we both know. God bless you Fran and thank you for being such a great person.