James Bond -
Special Agent 007 chalked up 7
redoubled in Ian Fleming's novel "Moonraker."
Warren Buffett (b. 1930) -
Billionaire investor and philanthropist. Buffett has a reputation of a die-hard player, having been quoted as saying "If I'm playing bridge and a naked woman walks by, I don't even see her."
Dwight Eisenhower (1890 - 1969) -
WWII General and 34th President of the United States. Eisenhower had a reputation as an excellent bridge player, and reportedly played in his (little) spare time during WWII to relax. In 1962, Sports Illustrated wrote a detailed article about Eisenhower's bridge habits
Bill Gates (b. 1955) -
Billionaire businessman and philanthropist. Gates reportedly got addicted to bridge through Warren Buffett; the two now play regularly on OKbridge
and in ACBL tournaments. Gates has a reputation as an enthusiastic learner, studying and playing with professionals to refine his game. BridgeUnion.com has a video interview with Gates
from March 2010.
Martina Navratilova (b. 1956) -
Tennis legend and winner of 59 Grand Slam titles. On the topic of bridge, she has been quoted as saying "No matter where I go, I can always make new friends at the bridge table." And also: "Bridge teaches logic, reasoning, quick thinking, patience, concentration and partnership skills."
- Frontman Thom Yorke and fellow members of the mega-band Radiohead also play bridge. According to a 1993 interview
, Yorke plays on tour, reads the daily bridge columns in England, and has high praise for Omar Sharif
Omar Sharif (b. 1932) -
Charismatic star of "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago", Omar Sharif has also enjoyed a long career as an expert bridge player and columnist.
Yes, Snoopy is a bridge player too. Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz, a long-time player, occasionally penned comic strips in which Snoopy, Woodstock (and Woodstock's buddies) play bridge. Alan Truscott once wrote an article about Snoopy's bridge game
for the New York Times.
Links to Snoopy bridge cartoons:
Giorgio Belladonna ( 1923 - 1995) -
Member of the Italian Blue Team that won 13 Bermuda Bowl world championships and three World Olympiads. He, Pietro Forquet and Benito Garozzo often vied for the honor of world's best player at the height of the Blue Team's success. Belladonna enjoyed bidding theory during those times and invented the Roman bidding system along with several other conventions based upon the artificial 1
Ely Culbertson (1891 - 1955) -
Ely Culbertson may have done more to popularize bridge than any other player. He conducted famous challenge matches (including the Culbertson-Lenz match and the first Anglo-American match), founded his own bridge school, started The Bridge World magazine (still in print), created his own system of bidding, and wrote a number of best-selling books, including his Contract Bridge Blue Book of 1930. Culbertson's great abilities as a publicist were supplemented by his strong playing skills. He successfully partnered his wife Josephine in a number of challenge matches and national events.
Pietro Forquet (b. 1925) -
Well-known in international play for his unflappable countenance, Forquet won 15 world championships while a member of the Italian Blue Team. In 1971 he also wrote the book "Bridge with the Blue Team", widely considered to be the world's best collection of fascinating bridge deals.
Benito Garozzo (b. 1927) -
One of the world's best players for decades, Garozzo won 13 world championships, including the Bermuda Bowl 10 times. He was a member of the famous Italian Blue Team ("Squadra Azzura") that dominated the global bridge scene during the '60s and '70s. Garozzo still plays actively as a U.S. citizen. American expert Grant Baze once wrote of his experience discussing bridge problems with Garozzo's Blue Team friends: "Occasionally, Forquet and Belladonna would say: 'This problem is too difficult, we are going to have to ask Benito.'"
Charles Goren (1901 - 1991) -
"Mr. Bridge," as millions knew him, was a renowned player, writer and teacher. He appeared on the front cover of Time, wrote the bestseller Contract Bridge Complete, and popularized the point count system for bidding that is still used today. His victories included the first Bermuda Bowl World Championship in 1950 and numerous national championships. Goren's partnership with Helen Sobel Smith was one of the most famous and successful in America.
Robert (Bob) Hamman (b. 1938) -
Considered by many to be the best player in the world, Hamman was a member of the famous Dallas Aces that trained as full-time bridge players in the '60s. He has won 10 world championships, 50 national championships, and is still playing for more. In 1994, Hamman wrote his entertaining autobiography, At the Table: My Life and Times.
Oswald (Ozzie) Jacoby (1902 - 1984) -
Ozzie Jacoby was one of the world's best players and writers for fifty years. In the '30s, Jacoby played on the famous Four Aces Team that won several national events. Ultimately he would win 30 national championships, his last at the age of 81. As a bridge columnist, he penned 10,000 articles. Jacoby was also an ardent patriot, serving in the armed forces in WWI (at 15), WWII and the Korean War.
Terence Reese (1913 - 1996) -
Terence Reese was England's greatest bridge player and writer. He won the 1955 Bermuda Bowl world championship as well as 4 European titles and 20 national events. His writing career included innumerable newspaper columns and 90 books.
Howard Schenken (1905 - 1979) -
Once voted during his career as the best player of all time, Schenken's triumphs included three world championships and over 25 national events. He founded the Four Aces team in the '30s and was also a longtime bridge columnist during the '40s and '50s.
Helen Sobel Smith (1910 - 1969) -
When once asked how it felt to play with a great expert, Helen Sobel Smith pointed to longtime partner Charles Goren and said, "Ask him." As a winner of 35 national events, she did not need to defer to anyone. Smith was the best woman player ever and certainly one of the greatest of all time. Her success was proof to the world that women can be just as good as men.