Judy Kay-Wolff


Thanks to a group, of which I never heard before – the FPAB (Foundation for the Preservation and Advancement of Bridge), they have presented on their website (http://www.fpabridge.org) incredibly detailed biographies of the winners of (1) The ultimate Hall of Fame Award (called the “Open” for some reason); (2) The von Zedtwitz; and (3) The Blackwood. The biographies are only up to date as of the year inducted. (Some of them were inducted in the flesh and sadly others posthumously).

It is also of interest that many who were inducted starting in 1995 in the “Open” category would have made the original list started in 1964 had it not been discontinued three years later. Examples would be Becker, Blackwood, Crane, Crawford, Sobel (1995); Josephine Culbertson, Victor Mitchell and Sam Stayman (1996), etc., etc. Word is on the street that the late Grant Baze will be getting the von Zedtwitz award after the required time passes to be inducted after one’s death.

The detailing of each individual winner is fascinating, starting with the “OPEN AWARD” (1964-1966)

1964 – Ely Culbertson, Charles Goren, Harold Vanderbilt, Waldemar von Zedtwitz

1965 – Oswald Jacoby, Sidney Lenz, Milton Work

1966 – Howard Schenken, Sidney Silodor

The elections were halted after the original NINE inductees (1964-1966), until resurrected in 1995 by CEO Roy Green with the following. Obviously, they had a lot of catching up to do with the twenty-nine year hiatus. The “Open” Electees are …

1995 – B. J. Becker, Easley Blackwood, Barry Crane, John Crawford, Edgar Kaplan, Alvin Roth, Helen Sobel, Robert Wolff

1996 – Josephine Culbertson, Eddie Kantar, Norman Kay, Victor Mitchell, Alfred Sheinwold, Samuel Stayman

1997 – Edith Freilich, Richard Frey, James Jacoby, Lewis Mathe, George Rapee. William Root

1998 – William Eisenberg, Mary Jane Farell, John Gerber, Alphonse Moyse, Peter Pender, Dorothy Truscott

1999 – Robert Goldman, Robert Hamman, Theodore Lightner, Alexander Sobel. Margaret Wagar

2000 – Lou Bluhm, Harry Fishbein, Sidney Lazard, Ira Rubin, Charles Solomon,

2001 – Richard Freeman, Peter Leventritt, G. Robert Nail, Lew Stansby, Sally Young,

2002 – Hermine Baron, Sam Fry, Jr., Emma Jean Hawes

2003 – Hugh Ross, Paul Soloway, Fred Hamilton, Edward Manfield, Jacqui Mitchell, Steve Robinson

2004 – Peter Weichsel

2005 – Betty Ann Kennedy, Kit Woolsey

2006 – Michael Becker

2007 – Zia Mahmood, Kerri Sanborn, Alan Sontag

2008 – Frank Nickell, Mike Passell

2009 – Mark Lair

2010 – David Berkowitz

2011 – None

The second prestigious award (the von Zedtwitz) is for living or dead who have achieved prominence in the game of bridge with an outstanding tournament record but may not have been recently in the limelight: The recipients are:

1996 – P. Hal Sims

1997 – David Bruce (Bernstine)

1998 – Alvin Landy

1999 – Michael Gottlieb

2000 – Meyer Schleifer

2001 – Sami Kehela, Eric Murray

2002 – Carol Sanders; Tommy Sanders

2003 – Tobias Stone

2004 – Harry Harkavy

2005 – Percy Sheardown

2006 – S. Garton Churchill

2007 – NONE

2008 – NONE

2009 – Agnes Gordon

2010 – Paul Hodge

2011 – Russ Arnold

The third award is the Blackwood Award given to individuals who have contributed greatly to the game but were not necessarily world class players (although a few are). Incidentally, the “Open Award” is decided by ballot (with certain detailed requirements) while the von Zedtwitz and Blackwood are hand selected by the Hall of Fame Committee members.

1996 – Albert Morehead

1997 – Lee Hazen

1998 – Dave Treadwell

1999 – Kathie Wei-Sender

2000 – George Rosenkranz

2001 – Alan Truscott

2002 – Ira G. Corn, Jr.

2003 – Henry Francis

2004 – Amalya Kearse, Jeff Rubens

2005 – Marshall Miles

2006 – Richard Goldberg

2007 – NONE

2008 – Jerome S. Machlin

2009 – Aileen Osofsky

2010 – Tom Stoddard

2011 – Eric Kokish

I highly recommend going to the FPAB site. The backgrounds of the earlier icons of our game who are probably “just names” are fascinating, captivating and enlightening thanks to the work of the Foundation for the Preservation and Advancement of Bridge. Happy reading!


LisaMarch 27th, 2011 at 4:31 am


That was a tremendous job by the FBAP. Who are they? I never heard the name or initials before?

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 27th, 2011 at 4:34 am


I have no clue. I have skimmed the 44 page list but today at my leisure I am looking forward to getting an education on the wonderful oldtimers who were instrumental (along with Charlie Goren) of putting our game on the map.


CarolMarch 27th, 2011 at 4:38 am

I never heard of them before either — but whoever was in charge did a wonderful job capturing the accomplishments of the players — especially those who existed before I got on the scene. Am looking forward to reading such a history of our game. Thanks for sharing.

BurtMarch 27th, 2011 at 4:44 am

I agree with you about making one big melting pot for varying achievements. Obviously, their talents in whatever field it was, were deemed recognizable so why not classify them under their proper designations?

Does not make sense to me — unless it was going along with the theory that all men and women were created equal.

Ed JudyMarch 27th, 2011 at 6:48 am

Background and description of FPAB can be found via the links on the home page.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 27th, 2011 at 7:42 am

Thanks, Ed. Interesting to learn all the additional information, including the officers of the organization, etc.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 27th, 2011 at 8:04 am

In my anxiety to post the individuals in the appropriate categories respectively, I neglected to mention that only a maximum of three living candidates were inducted, starting in 1995. The others were deceased whose names appear below in parenthesis:










After 2004 all electees were gratefully alive to accept their awards.

MicheleMarch 27th, 2011 at 9:12 am

Were Sobel and Moyse such sensational players to be included in the Open?

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 27th, 2011 at 9:40 am


Who am I to judge but I have it on good authority their contributions to the game were so above and beyond, they slipped in as expert players.

Al Sobel, according to the FPAB, was a key associate of Culbertson and was one of the first tournament directors; and for 25 years was the ACBL National Tournament Manager. He was also Editor of The Bridge World, editor and regular columnist for the Bridge Bulletin and member of the Laws Commission. Sobel was also chief director at many of the WBF tournaments. “He set the pattern for directors everywhere.”

Sonny Moyse, again according to the FPAB, was publisher and editor of The Bridge World between Ely Culbertson, the founder, and Edgar Kaplan, the later owner. He was a talented author and ghostwriter for Culbertson’s columns for more than 20 years. Perhaps he is best known for his “Moysian Fit”. He died at 75, weeks after being selected as an International Bridge Press Association Honorary Member, the first American to receve the honor. Quite a track record.

I suppose stringent expert playing requirements were relaxed since they both had accomplished so very many great feats during their respective bridge careers. On the flip side of the coin, many question why champions like Sami Kehela and Eric Murray were not elected to the “Open” category rather than relegated to the von Zedtwitz. Food for thought.

Robb GordonMarch 27th, 2011 at 11:57 am

Who are the Foundation?

Here is their board of trustees (from their about page):

Board of Trustees

Bob Hamman – President

Steve Beatty – Vice President

Allan Falk – Legal counsel

Tracey Yarbro – Secretary

Lynne Schaefer – Audit Committee

Patty Tucker – Youth Bridge Liasion


Jay Baum

Renee Mancuso

Alan Osofsky


Judy Kay-WolffMarch 27th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Yes, Robb. I did find it on the first page of their site. We were more interested in knowing who decided to garble everything together (not separating the living from the dead and those inducted in the 2nd and 3rd categories). Some kind person referred me to their site for the information I wanted which the ACBL main pages did not bother to classify.

Let’s face it. like it or not, there is a difference between what they call the “Open” (who

are the ultimate top players of the game) and the von Zedtwitz, with an exception or two — people who got in after their death as they were not in the public eye; and a totally different field (The Blackwood) for outstanding contributions to the game but not necessarily in the line of fire at the table.

If the writeups are accurate and there is no reason to think otherwise, they are really

informative and enjoyable. I just checked out a few and gleaned so much about the ones I read about — especially those before my time. I am curious who did all the research. It is quite a laborious and well performed task. I printed them out so I can peruse them all at my leisure.



Robert E. HarrisMarch 28th, 2011 at 9:56 am

The Baseball Hall of Fame web site gives us a variety of was of looking at the Hall of Famers.


We can see an alphabetical list, date of induction list, method of selection lists, and so on. There is a list of those elected as players. Dizzy Dean is on that list, though for those of us near my age his fame rests far more on his career as a broadcaster.

The Bridge Hall of Fame might have those elected as players, but then what? Those elected are all in the Hall of Fame, and presumably belong there, whether their fame rests entirely on playing skill or on other factors.

Bobby WolffMarch 28th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Hi Robert,

My vintage (tender age) also believes in occasionally having to have ‘slud’ into 3rd, although during the Gas House Gang days (1930’s) he was a fair COUNTRY pitcher (boy, was he), probably better than his brother Paul, and to say the least, certainly more colorful.

However, to get into the subject, baseball and certainly the major other sports (football, basketball, and hockey as well as tennis and golf) have been nothing if not lionized, hashed and rehashed, and at the very least been an everyday part of life as all of us Americans (especially us geezers) have lived and died, mostly loving, but some others finding other avenues to get their competitive blood boiling.

Bridge and its colorful history is infinitely less known and by saying just that, might begin to explain why the playing or kibitzing of bridge is not an everyday event in most people’s lives.

To suggest that all bridge level contributions such as playing, administering or merely writing or reading daily bridge columns is the same does not begin to do justice to what our wonderful game uniquely stands for.

For bridge to begin to get its due, we need all the publicity we can get to make up for a lifetime of apathy and lack of publicity. The backgrounds of our founding fathers, such as Culbertson and Goren together with the more modern off the charts abilities of some of our (and the worlds for that matter) greatest players should be significantly charted so that those players, together with the superior administrators who have, at the very least, widely contributed to keeping our game alive through troubled times, and have so given of themselves (sometimes at great expense) so that tournament bridge is still alive on our continent (and BTW thriving mightily around the world). The motto of the World Bridge Federation is “Bridge for Peace” wherein Middle Eastern players and countless Muslims play together with Israelis, Chinese with Taiwanese and race, religions and creeds are blended together with love for one another merely by the respect they have gleaned for one another while playing, as opponents, at the same bridge table.

To even suggest that all bridge players just be thrown together regardless of their various many splendored contributions is to cry lost in what our wonderful competitive world is all about.

Within the game itself, everyone is judged by his or her attitude toward brodge itself, certainly not by money, age, looks, skin color, nationality, religion or any other subjective factor. All of us who have given and received so much from our game are thankful for its existence and only wish more and more people from around the world could be fortunate enough to know our history and heritage and then share with us in the pursuit of making the game better.

Dumbing down the ACBL Hall-of-Fame is not a positive step in the right direction, but rather instead, a very sad and negative move away from what is good for all of us who truly adore our game.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 28th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

For those of you who may have questioned Bobby’s terminology of the word ‘slud,’ I thought he had ‘lost it.’ However, after checking various sources, dumb me found the following famous story on the internet:

“As a broadcaster, Dean was famous for his wit and his often-colorful butchering of the English language.” “He once saw Browns outfielder Al Zarilla slide into a base, and said “Zarilla slud into third.” ‘Slud’ instead of ‘slid’ became a frequently-used Dean expression. Thus, Bobby’s opening line to Mr. Harris.

Now to Mr. Harris’ comment. You cannot compare baseball (or any sport) with bridge. If the ACBL wanted to not segregate the three awards, there would not be an Open (weird choice of a word), a von Zedtwitz and a Blackwood. Each one represents different accomplishments (or in the case of the von Zedtwitz, someone who had been an oversight at the actual time of the balloting). The Blackwood is primarily a service award although there are many fine players who adorn the shrine.

To now try to equalize their importance is a disgrace. THEY ARE WHAT THEY ARE. For years, they had the distinction of being categorized. Whose brilliant idea was it to meld them into one jumbo, non-descript list — and WHY???? The ACBL must have had their reasons but the committee’s action is a mystery to most of us.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 29th, 2011 at 6:43 am

Back to Mr. Harris —

Being in the sports memorabilia business for twenty years I got to meet many of the stars of our day.

Out of curiosity I checked the site you recommended — and as you inferred, they are not exactly all bunched together. There are four separate categores of honorees, to wit: ELECTED BY BBWAA; ELECTED BY COMMITTEES CONSIDERING MANAGERS,UMPIRES, EXECUTIVE AND LONG RETIRED PLAYERS; ELECTED BY DEFUNCT COMMITTEE ON NEGRO BASEBALL LEAGUES IN 1971-77; and ELECTED BY SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON NEGRO LEAGUES IN 2006.

The latter two, thank heaven, are no longer an issue — but there was a DEFINITE distinction between ELECTION and SELECTION and a difference between classifications.

There is a dissimilarity between a world class expert (alive or dead/elected or chosen) and a broadcaster, sportswriter or do-gooder and I think in bridge those classifications should be maintained for the clarity of the records and the maintenance of unequalled excellence.