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 • Meeting House Hill Cemetery
 • Brattleboro
 • Windham County
 • Vermont
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Ely Culbertson
Birth: Jul. 22, 1891
Death: Dec. 27, 1955

Card Player, Author and Businessman. The son of an American mining engineer, he was born in born in Poiana Varbilau, Romania, and educated in Russia. He was captured while participating in the unsuccessful Russian revolution of 1905 and was awaiting execution when he developed his card playing skills. After his release he used his winnings to support his family in Paris after his father's assets in Russia were seized by the government. Culbertson later studied at several universities in Europe and the United States, developing expertise in philosophy and psychology though he did not receive a degree. He settled in New York City in 1921 and in 1923 married Josephine Murphy Dillon, a tournament Auction Bridge player and instructor. Culbertson and his wife were a successful tournament team, and in the mid 1920s developed a new form of the game, Contract Bridge, which soon replaced Auction Bridge. Recognizing its commercial possibilities, in 1929 Culbertson founded a magazine, "The Bridge World", and also manufactured and distributed playing cards and supplies. One product, Kem cards, the first plastic playing cards, have been manufactured since 1934, and new designs are introduced each year. Culbertson also staged several "showdown" tournaments and used his flair for marketing to generate publicity that enhanced the popularity of Contract Bridge. From 1930 to 1950 Culbertson published more than 80 best selling books and gave countless lectures and speeches on Bridge, Rummy and other card games. He also published an autobiography, 1940's "The Strange Lives of One Man", as well as several works on foreign affairs and current events. After a 1938 divorce, in 1947 he remarried and settled in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he died from the effects of emphysema. When the Bridge Hall of Fame was created in 1964, Culbertson was its first inductee. "The Bridge World" is still published and is also available in an online edition. (bio by: Bill McKern) 
 
Burial:
Meeting House Hill Cemetery
Brattleboro
Windham County
Vermont, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 245
Ely Culbertson
Added by: plato clifford
 
Ely Culbertson
Added by: Steve Grant
 
Ely Culbertson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Cynthia Kaley
 
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