Given the elite status of the game and its players, it is not surprising to find leading figures in business, government and entertainment among the avid participants.
“Bridge is a great way to learn from inferences. A lot of decisions in life are made by inferring from what you know,” says Warren Buffett, the legendary Oracle of Omaha who has turned inferences into billions of dollars.
He and Microsoft’s Bill Gates are two of the most active proponents of the game and regular tournament competitors. They believe in the benefits of bridge so much that they have committed $1 million to a youth bridge initiative.
Joining the line-up of leading corporate advocates are James Cayne and Alan Greenberg of Bear Stearns, Peter Lynch of the Magellan Fund, and Erik Olsen, former head of Delta Dental and current president of the AARP Board of Directors. The late Malcolm Forbes went so far as to encourage readers of his magazine to play.
A leading fan from the entertainment industry and an international bridge champion is Peter Schneider, Tony Award-winning producer of “The Lion King.” Omar Sharif’s name remains above one of the nation’s leading newspaper bridge columns, and Charles Shultz drew Snoopy playing bridge in several of his comic strips. Snoopy and Woodstock are the ACBL’s only Honorary Life Masters.
From the writing field come regular players Dave Feldman, whose “Why Do Pirates Love Parrots?” is the latest in the “Imponderables” series of books; James Gleick, author of the best-selling “Genius” and “Chaos;” and children’s author Louis Sachar, whose novel “Holes” was produced as a film by Disney.
U.S. District Court Judge Amalya Kearse competes on an international level, while in Washington D.C., you might find Supreme Court Justice (and ACBL Life Master) John Paul Stevens at the local bridge club.
World leaders at the highest levels also have been known for their passion for the game, among them Deng Xiao Peng, Dwight Eisenhower and Winston Churchill.