Remembering Author Robert "Bob" Byrne

Robert Byrne was born in Dubuque, Iowa in 1930, the youngest of three boys in the Thomas and Clara Byrne family. When he died at the age of 86, he was not only the World’s Leading Authority on Pool and Billiards, having written many books and made numerous instructional videos, but he was also a talented writer of many other genres, and a humorist without compare. His columns for the Dubuque Telegraph Herald drew many comments, mostly complimentary, and they were compiled in a book called “Behold My Shorts.” Altogether, he had 24 books published. His book, “Memories of a Non-Jewish Childhood” was made into a musical by the talented David Resnick and performed at the Grand Theater 12 years ago, reprised in 2017 as “Fish on Friday at the Bell Tower.” His humor was well-known in Dubuque and elsewhere, and because of his billiard videos and induction into the Billiard Hall of Fame, he was recognized all across the U.S. and the world. 

Robert Byrne

Bob's Muse's Bench

Bob was always was coming up with new ideas for writing, quote collecting, magic tricks, billiard shots… he was never out of ideas. Maybe sitting and thinking on this bench can help another creative soul come up with an idea or two in their own realm of art, music, writing or whatever they love to do. His family wanted people to think of him and their own creative ideas as they sat here in the library, where Bob often loved to go.

As to what Bob would say of his own muse, he never said much, except that he scorned the notion of “writer’s block,” and just sat at his desk and began. The muse would always come and he was never known to be out of ideas.

Bob was not aware that there he going to have a bench, although he did tell family he’d like a memorial of some kind when he died. His family decided this would be a good fit, since Bob was a Dubuque writer, born and bred, and loved the library.

The Muses Bench