Erwin Rudolph was born in Cleveland. Rudolph did not participate in his first world 14.1 championship until he was 24 years old. Five years later, in 1926, Rudolph gained national acclaim by ending Ralph Greenleaf’s six-year reign as world champion. Rudolph’s win over Greenleaf came in a challenge match. After losing his world title to Thomas Hueston, Rudolph regained the crown by winning the 1933 world championship. He won his third world title in 1933, and, at age 47, captured his fourth and final world crown by defeating a young Irving Crane in the finals of the 1941 world championship in Philadelphia. At the time of his death in 1957, he held the record for fastest game in a world tournament, scoring 125 points in just 32 minutes. (The record has since been eclipsed.)
Two categories have been established in Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame. The Greatest Player category shall be reserved for outstanding players who have been active in national or international competition for at least 20 years and have won at least one national or international championship. The Meritorious Service category shall be reserved for those who have made lasting, memorable and important contributions to billiards.