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
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
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.
Bridge books authored
by Charles Goren.