Theodore A. “Ted” Lightner, Life Master #7, was a player who won major championships in three decades. He was a leading figure in bridge from the earliest days of contract. He played with Ely Culbertson during a part of the Culbertson-Lenz match and was a member of the Culbertson team (Josephine Culbertson, Waldemar von Zedtwitz, Michael Gottlieb and Albert Morehead were other team members) that won challenge matches over British teams in 1930, 1933 and 1934.
Lightner captured all the major American titles. He won the Spingold in 1937, 1939 and 1945; the Chicago (now the Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams) in 1947, the Vanderbilt in 1930, the Life Master Pairs in 1932 and 1935 and the Open Pairs in 1928.
He became a world champion when his team won the Bermuda Bowl in 1953.
Lightner was remembered by The Bridge World magazine as “a brilliant theoretician and writer. He shared his insights and innovations, including the lead-directing double that bears his name, through his books and many articles in The Bridge World.
“It is hard to believe that Teddy is not still settled at the rubber-bridge table, shaking his great head sadly as yet another dummy comes down with disappointing values, a doleful expression on his face as he prepares to bring home yet another contract. We shall keep him there in our memory.”