Bertram Lebhar Jr.

Bertram Lebhar Jr. (1907–1972) was an American bridge player, sportscaster, and radio executive who won the Spingold in 1940 and the Chicago Mixed Board-a-Match in 1946.[1] Lebhar, who used the name Bert Lee on-air, was the radio play-by-play announcer for the New York Rangers from 1939 to 1954.[2]

Early lifeEdit

Lebhar was born in New York City to magazine editor Bertam Lebhar Sr. and his wife Rose. In 1923 he was awarded a state scholarship to Cornell University.[3] After graduating from Cornell, Lebhar attended New York University Law School, but chose to pass on a legal career in favor of going to radio advertising sales.[4]

BridgeEdit

In 1936, Lebhar and Sam Katz finished third in the Wernher Open Pairs national bridge championship.[5] In 1939, the Blue Ribbon Team of Lebhar, Katz, Oscar Brotman, and Louis Newman made it to the semifinals of the Vanderbilt Trophy tournament, losing to a team led by the trophy's donor, Harold Stirling Vanderbilt.[6] In 1940, Lebhar's team won the Spingold by upsetting a team led by Waldemar von Zedtwitz.[7] In 1941, the Blue Ribbon Team made it to the finals of the Eastern Bridge Tournament, but lost to the Oswald Jacoby-led Regency Club.[8] In 1943, Lebhar was part of the runner-up team at the Reisinger.[1] That same year, Lebhar, Rossant, Katz, & Leventritt were runners-up in the Spingold.[9] In 1945, Lebhar and Rossant were runners up in the Von Zedtwitz Life Master Pairs. In 1946, Lebhar, his wife, Katz, and Alicia Kempner won the Chicago Mixed Board-a-Match competition. In 1946 and 1947, Lebhar was a member of the team that was the runner-up for the Vanderbilt Trophy.[1]

From 1945 to 1947, Lebhar served as treasurer of the American Contract Bridge League. As treasurer, he introduced the practice of charging clubs for the right to issue master points and supported expansion of the league.[4] In 1948, Lebhar donated the Lebhar IMP Pairs trophy in memory of his wife, Evelen.[10] That same year, Lebhar became the founding president of the Greater New York Bridge Association.[4]

Bridge accomplishmentsEdit

WinsEdit

Runners-upEdit

Radio careerEdit

Lebhar began his career with CBS. He then spent four and a half years with WOR. In 1935 he joined WMCA as a vice president. While at WMCA, Lebhar broke into broadcasting when he filled in for an ill sports announcer. In 1939, he became director of sales and a sports announcer for WHN. He was the play-by-play announcer for the New York Rangers from 1939 to 1954 and co-hosted Today's Baseball, where he and Marty Glickman would give play‐by‐play recreations of the day's best games. In 1949 he became director of the station (then known as WMGM).[4]

From 1957 to 1964 he was general manager of WEAT/WEAT-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was also a part owner from 1957 to 1966. From 1968 to 1970 he operated WXVI.[4]

Lebhar died on April 20, 1972 in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was 65 years old. At the time of his death, Lebhar was residing in Lake Park, Florida.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "NABC Winners - by Name: Bertram Lebhar Jr". American Contract Bridge League. American Contract Bridge League. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  2. ^ Raider, Adam; Cohen, Russ (2014). 100 Things Rangers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. Triumph Books. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Announce Winners of State Scholarships". The New York Times. June 8, 1923.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Bertram Lebhar Jr. (Bert Lee), Bridge Star, Sportscaster, Dead". The New York Times. April 22, 1972. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Kaplan-Ecker Pair Wins Bridge Title". The Boston Daily Globe. August 6, 1936.
  6. ^ "Vanderbilt Team Leading At Bridge". The New York Times. April 21, 1939.
  7. ^ "Lebhar Four Wins In Masters' Bridge". The New York Times. August 13, 1940.
  8. ^ "Jacoby Four Wins Bridge Team Title". The New York Times. March 9, 1941.
  9. ^ Morehead, Albert H. (August 9, 1943). "Mrs. Sobel's Team Wins Bridge Title". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "BERTRAM LEBHAR, JR". American Contract Bridge League. American Contract Bridge League. Retrieved 11 April 2021.