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Crawford, John Randolph (04 August 1915–14 February 1976), bridge champion, , born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, the son of Andrew Wright Crawford, an architect, and Clotilde (maiden name unknown), became an expert at bridge and other games as a teenager. In 1934 he and Robert McPherran, who was a year younger, became famous, indeed notorious, for imaginative play and psychic, or bluff, bidding. “Don’t you ever make a normal bid?” an official asked Crawford, who was soon known in Philadelphia bridge circles as “the Boy Wonder,” a description given earlier to an equally famous bridge star, ...

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Culbertson, Ely (22 July 1891–27 December 1955), authority on bridge, was born in the village of Poiana di Verbilao, near Ploesti, Romania, the son of Almon Culbertson, an American mining engineer, and Xenia Rogoznaya, the daughter of a Cossack general. He studied at gymnasia in Russia and briefly at Yale (1908), Cornell (1910), the Sorbonne (1913–1914), and the University of Geneva (1915). But he was largely self-educated, with an extensive knowledge of political writings. He was a remarkable linguist, speaking seven languages fluently and able to read six others, including Latin and Greek....

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Goren, Charles (04 March 1901–03 April 1991), bridge champion who popularized the game in columns and bestselling books, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Jacob and Rebecca Goren, Jewish immigrants from Russia. Rebecca raised Charles and brother Edward, and her husband made a little money as a writer. Charles loved sports, but he realized his athletic limitations and wanted to be a sportswriter....

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Jacoby, Oswald (08 December 1902–27 June 1984), bridge champion and actuary, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Oswald Nathaniel Jacoby, a prosperous attorney, and Edith Sondheim. From them, at the age of ten, he learned the card game that was to make him famous....

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Von Zedtwitz, Waldemar Konrad Anton Wilhelm Ferdinand (08 May 1896–05 October 1984), bridge champion and lexicographer, was born in Berlin. His father was Moritz Kurt Von Zedtwitz, a German baron with estates in Saxony, whose death in a yachting accident a few months after the birth gave his son the title. The baby had dual citizenship, for his mother was a member of a wealthy Kentucky family, Mary Eliza Breckinridge Caldwell, who died in 1910. Her grandfather was ...