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Charles Goren  -

The ACBL presented Charles Goren the "Hall of Fame" award, offering the following testimonial:

No name is more closely associated with the game of bridge than that of Charles Goren. Indeed, Goren earned and proudly bore the nickname of “Mr. Bridge.”

Born in Philadelphia , Goren earned a law degree as a young man but practiced only briefly before bridge became first in his life.

As a protege of fellow Hall-of-Famer Milton Work, Goren adapted Work's point-count evaluation method and published the now-familiar 4–3–2–1 system. The idea caught on quickly and was used by millions of players. Goren — a tireless worker — promoted his ideas through books, tours and lectures. Overnight, point-count displaced Ely Culbertson's honor-trick approach to hand evaluation.

Goren's hugely successful books, Contract Bridge Complete and Point Count Bidding, made his methods — dubbed “Standard American” — the most widely played system in the history of the game.

Goren's talents were not limited to writing and lecturing. He also hosted the popular televison program Championship Bridge with Charles Goren from 1959 to 1964.

The record for the most number of wins in the annual McKenney contest (now the Barry Crane Top 500 masterpoint race) is held by Goren, who won it eight times. He also holds the record for most number of consecutive victories in the contest: five, from 1947 through 1951.

His tournament career was outstanding. Goren won 34 national championships (now NABCs) and earned a world championship title when the U.S. squad won the inaugural Bermuda Bowl in 1950.

The name of Goren became synonymous with bridge to millions. His importance as a world figure was recognized when he was on the front cover of Time magazine. His classic Contract Bridge Complete ran to 12 editions.

It is estimated that Goren books have sold more than 10 million copies. His writings have been translated into a dozen languages. His books include: Better Bridge for Better Players, Standard Book of Bidding, Contract Bridge Made Easy, A Self-Teacher, Point-Count Bidding in Contract Bridge, Goren Presents the Italian Bridge System, New Contract Bridge in a Nutshell; Sports Illustrated Book of Bridge, Goren's Winning Partnership Bridge, Charles Goren's Bridge Complete, and Goren on Play and Defense.

Goren became a world champion in Bermuda in 1950 when the first Bermuda Bowl World Championship was staged. Placed 2nd 1956 and 1957 Bermuda Bowls, member of U.S. team that finished 4th in first World Team Olympiad in Turin in 1960. His television show, Championship Bridge with Charles Goren, ran from 1959 to 1964. It was called the first successful bridge program on television and won an award as one of the best new television features.

A lifelong bachelor, Goren may genuinely have been married to the game. In spite of his work as writer, lecturer, promoter, TV personality (unlike Culbertson, who grew bored with the game when he became successful), Goren was devoted to tournament play.

He seldom played rubber bridge, and never for high stakes. He considered his playing status amateur and once turned over to the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund the full amount of a $1,500 purse which he won in a charity tournament played in Las Vegas .

Before his retirement from active competition in 1966, he captured virtually every major bridge trophy in U.S. tournament play. ACBL Honorary Member 1959, one of first 3 elected to ACBL Hall of Fame (then of The Bridge World) in 1963. Member ACBL Laws Commission from 1956, contributing editor of The Bridge World, member of Editorial Advisory Board of Bridge Encyclopedia. Awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by McGill University 1963.

After retiring from the tournament scene in the late Sixties, Goren lived quietly at his home in Miami Beach . For the last 19 years of his life he lived with his nephew, Marvin Goren, in Southern California . Because of poor eyesight and failing health, he was seldom seen in the Seventies.

There were rare appearances on the According to Goren panel shows at North American Bridge Championships and in 1972 he hosted a party for the press at his Miami Beach home during the Fourth World Bridge Olympiad.

His personal record by events: won Bermuda Bowl 1950, placed 2nd 1956, 57; 3rd World Team Olympiad 1960. On the national level he won the Vanderbilt 1944, 45, placed 2nd 1934, 36, 49, 50, 53, 55, 59, 62; Asbury Park Trophy (later the Spingold) 1937; Spingold Master KO Teams 1943, 47, 51, 56, 60, 2nd 1939, 1950; Reisinger BAM Teams (formerly Chicago) 1937, 38, 39, 42, 43, 50, 57, 63, 2nd 1944, 51; Master Mixed Teams 1938, 41, 43, 44, 48, 54, 2nd 1946, 49, 50, 51; Men's BAM Teams 1952, 2nd 1946, 55; Life Master Pairs 1942, 58, 2nd 1953; Open Pairs 1940; Mixed Pairs 1943, 47, 2nd 1934; Men's Pairs 1938, 43, 49, 2nd in 1935; Masters Individual 1945; McKenney Trophy 1937, 43, 45, 47 48, 49, 50, 51.

See Bridge books authored by Charles Goren.

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