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Tommy Sanders (1932–2011)

Hall of Fame Member and former ACBL President Tom “Tommy” Sanders died Dec. 11 at his home in Nashville. He was 79.

Sanders and wife, Carol, were co-recipients of the von Zedtwitz Award (recognizing contributions to bridge through bridge-playing expertise or contributions to the game outside their area of bridge expertise) in 2002. The Sanders, affectionately known by their friends as Mama and Papa Bear, were married in 1956. They have six children and 15 grandchildren.

A Grand Life Master with 16,785 masterpoints, Tommy Sanders was a 12-time NABC champion. He is the only graduate of Vanderbilt University to have won the Vanderbilt Cup, a feat he accomplished three times. He has won titles in mixed, pairs, team and Senior events.

Sanders was non-playing captain of the 1981 Bermuda Bowl champions and has several high finishes in international competition. He was second in the 1994 World Senior Teams. He won the 1981 Cavendish Invitational Pairs (with longtime partner Lou Bluhm).

Sanders represented District 10 on the ACBL Board of Directors from 1980 to 1989. He served as ACBL president in 1986 and as chairman of the Board in 1987. He was instrumental in establishing the ACBL Educational Foundation, serving as president for the first five years of its existence.

Sanders was a traditional jazz buff and has co-produced Dixieland jazz albums.

A full report will appear in the February issue of the Bridge Bulletin.

Tommy Sanders