Jeanette Lee is an American professional pool player. She was nicknamed the Black Widow because, in spite of her sweet demeanor, she would “eat people alive” when she got to a pool table and always wear black when playing pool.

Lee was born to Korean-immigrant parents in Brooklyn in 1971. She attended the Bronx High School of Science before dropping out, earning money as a teenager by nannying and waitressing. Lee started playing pool in 1989, after watching pro Johnny Ervolino at Chelsea Billiards in Manhattan. She began her career playing in the local and regional scenes of New York City, including the Howard Beach Billiard Club in Queens, owned by music producer Gabe Vigorito, who first compared her demeanor to a black widow spider and financed her early tournament expenses. She went on to rank as the No. 1 female pool player in the world during the 1990s, and received the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA) Sportsperson of the Year Award in 1998. She was three times runner-up at the World Nine-ball Championships from 1993 to 1996. In addition to many top finishes on the WPBA Tour, she won the gold medal for the United States at the 2001 World Games in Akita, Japan, and won the ladies’ winner-take-all Tournament of Champions twice, in 1999 and 2003. Lee also co-wrote The Black Widow’s Guide to Killer Pool and has a book about her life publishing later this year.  

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In February 2021, she announced that she had been diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. In May 2022, it was reported that her chemotherapy treatments were successful and she has successfully beaten cancer. A documentary about her life, Jeanette Lee Vs., premiered at the Doc NYC film festival and is part of the acclaimed ESPN series 30 for 30. The film had its television debut on December 13, 2022, on ESPN.