Pool World Loses The Miz

Steve Mizerak

We are very saddened today to report the death of a true legend in the game of billiards. Steve "The Miz" Mizerak has left us.

Mizerak had been hospitalized since January when he was admitted for gall bladder problems. He had been in a coma for the past few months. Mizerak never completely recovered for the stroke he suffered in 2001.

Mizerak won the US Open 14.1 Championship an amazing four straight years from 1970 to 1973 and was the US Open 9-Ball Champion in 1978. He was inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame 1980 as the youngest member ever and was named the 6th best player of the century by Billiards Digest in 2000.

Those who knew Mizerak, will remember him more for what he did away from the table than what he did at the table. Ladies Spirit Tour Director Heather Barkley, a former employee of Mizerak's, commented "Steve wasn't about pool. He was about people. He loved people and he loved doing for people. When I was his secretary, he would constantly be bombarded with autograph requests. I asked him once if that didn't become annoying and he replied that If people wanted his autograph, it meant that he had done something in his life that meant something to those people. He felt that giving them an autograph was the least he could do."

Five time US Open Champion and fellow BCA Hall of Fame member Earl Strickland commented, "This comes as a shock to all of us. To hear that one of the greatest poolplayers of all time has passed away. It was an honor to compete against Steve. It was always difficult and exciting to play against him. I will always remember "The Miz". He will be misseed. Condolences to Karen and the family"

We have set up a special area of the AzBilliards forums for fans and friends to post their memories of Steve. Click here to read our 2000 interview with Mizerak.

Photo courtesy of Conrad Burkman - National Billiard News