Samuel M. Stayman Leading bridge player


Samuel M. Stayman, 84, whose name is known to millions of bridge players throughout the world because of the Stayman Convention, a form of inquiry in bidding, died Saturday of cancer at his home in Palm Beach, Fla.

He was considered one of the world's greatest bridge players and was also a leading bridge administrator, serving as treasurer of the American Contract Bridge League, and later as a trustee of its Charity Foundation.

But he was best known for the Stayman Convention, a two-club bid in response to one no-trump to ask for a major suit, which is used almost universally. Building on suggestions by his partner, George Rapee, and others, he published the first article on the convention in 1945 and developed the idea in further articles and books. Today there are a host of Stayman offshoots, most of which he frowned on.

He was equally prominent as a player. He was ranked as a grand master by the World Bridge Federation, based on victories in the first three world championships played after World War II. He also represented the United States in world championships in 1956, 1960 and 1964.

He won 19 national titles, nearly all of them in major events.

He wrote three books: "Expert Bidding at Contract Bridge" (1951, Wellington); "The Complete Stayman System of Contract Bidding" (Rinehart, 1956), and "Do You Play Stayman?" (Odyssey, 1965).

He was born in Worcester, Mass., in 1909. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1930 and from Tuck Business College in 1931. He became president of Stayman & Stayman in New York, which owned a woolen mill in Rhode Island. Later he sold his business and became a portfolio manager, operating Strand & Co.

Anne Spencer Lindbergh, 53, a writer, teacher and the elder daughter of pioneer aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, died Friday of cancer in Thetford, Vt. She wrote several books, most of them for children, including "The People of Pineapple Place" and "The Prisoner of Pineapple Place," and taught school for many years. One of six children of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, she was born eight years after the sensational kidnapping and killing of the aviator's son, Charles Jr.

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