Glamorous, daring, skillful, aggressive — Betty Ann Kennedy announced her arrival on the national bridge scene in 1960 with a victory in the National Mixed Teams and a second-place finish in the Women’s Pairs. Taking time from her bridge activities over the next decade to marry and raise children, she returned to championship play in 1970, with the specific intent of winning a world championship.
She formed a partnership with Carol Sanders, which was among the longest and most successful partnerships in bridge history. Over the course of their 26-year reign, they stood in the forefront of women’s bridge, winning 10 NABC titles and four world championships. Betty Ann attempted a retirement from top-level competition in 1995, but she was lured back in 1999 by Kathie Wei-Sender, with whom she had a successful second career — winning three additional NABC titles and the 2003 Venice Cup.
Evaluating her performance in the final of the Venice Cup, Eric Kokish wrote in 2003 World Bridge Championships — Monte Carlo, “Kennedy was a standout, doing virtually nothing wrong.” In 2000, she made a successful debut as a non-playing captain, piloting the U.S. Senior Team, to victory at the inaugural World Senior Championship in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
A resident of Shreveport LA, Betty Ann is a recipient of the Louisiana Hall of Fame Award in 1993 (the second woman to be chosen). Kennedy and her husband, John (Jack), also are members of the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Hall of Fame. Jack is a leading player in his own right. They have four children and a grandson.
When not traveling the bridge world, Kennedy teaches bridge at her church, First United Methodist Church in Downtown Shreveport. She also plays weekly at the Shreveport Bridge Association.
Whether at a world championship or during a weekly game at the Shreveport Bridge Association, Betty Ann has retained the glamour and daring and skill that have been her hallmark. She is equally well known for her unfailing graciousness and charm at the table — to partners and opponents alike.