Harold Guiver è nato il 30 dicembre del 1925 a Gladstone nell'Oregon ma è cresciuto a Los Angeles.
Harold è stato attivo nel mondo del Bridge nell'intera seconda metà del secolo scorso vincendo diversi titoli nazionali tra i quali ricordiamo il Mitchell nel 1962, 64 e 83 e la Reisinger del 1962.
Sua madre era insegnante di recitazione e quando aveva 5 anni la sua abilità con il pianoforte gli procurò delle piccole parti.
Ai tempi dell'Università fu un campioncino di tennis ed sui campi da gioco che incontrò sua moglie Pat che gli diede due figlie.
Aveva notevoli capacità atletiche e vinse il suo primo titolo nazionale di doppio che aveva solo 17 anni, ma è fuori del campo nell'amministrazione dei contratti degli sportivi che fu davvero stellare. Coinvolto nel calcio professionistico dapprima con i Los Angeles Rams e poi con i New Orleans Saint, contribuì a cambiare le modalità con le quali venivano pagati gli sportivi.
Sua figlia di Kate ebbe modo di rivelare che suo padre, nonostante i ritmi frenetici ai quali viveva, era stato un ricercatore per tutta la vita.
Negli ultimi anni della sua vita ebbe una conversione religiosa che lo allontanò da tutte le materialità che avevano avuto tanto valore nella sua vita.
Scomparve dopo una battaglia con il cancro nel 2005.
Harold was very active in tournament bridge in California and at the national level from the mid-fifties to the present.
He was first or second in the Chicago (now Reisenger) Board-a- Match team in 1961, 62, 65 and Men’s Board a Match in 1962, 64, 74 and 83, second in the Vanderbilt in 1961 and 63, and second in the Spingold in 1975.
Harold was also involved in professional football, initially with the Los Angeles Rams and subsequently with the New Orleans Saints.
From the sidelines, Harold Guiver changed the way professional athletes are paid and also altered the momentum of women’s tennis by the sheer force of his vision and insatiable thirst for challenge. His early years foretold a life replete with unconventional turns.
He was born in Gladstone, Ore., on Dec. 30, 1925, but grew up in Los Angeles.
At age 5, his ability to play the piano earned him small roles in ‘Our Gang’ (Little Rascals) comedies, and a spot in ‘Baby Burlesque’, a film short with a 3-yearold Shirley Temple.
His mother was her drama teacher. Guiver’s star twinkled at USC, where he played on the university’s NCAA winning tennis team and met his wife, Pat.
Sports, she came to discover, encompassed a big part of his life.
He may have been a good athlete on the court, but he was even more stellar on the sidelines. In 1962, he paid the way to Wimbledon for a teenage phenom he often saw playing at the Long Beach Century Club.
He said in a February 2004 Long Beach Press-Telegram interview, “Billie Jean Moffet was the first woman I faced who would come to the net.”
When she won her first doubles at the renowned English venue with Karen Hantze, she was only 17.
Her first silver championship cup went immediately to him. Guiver had volleyed Billie Jean King into the landscape of professional women’s tennis.Guiver also understood the lucrative potential between ticket sales and corporations. He had experimented with ticket sales while in college, but his idea of promoting ticket sales to corporations came into fruition in the 1972 Miami-Washington Super Bowl and an alliance with Los Angeles-based ticket broker Doug Knittle. Carroll Rosenbloom, the Los Angeles Rams owner, said he was too tough and I would rather work with him than fight with him.
In 1978, Rosenbloom invited Guiver to work for his team. At one point, he managed 18 Rams starters among them Merlin Olsen, Larry Brooks and Lawrence McCutcheon, but they wouldn’t be the only ones to benefit from his acumen. In 1978, Guiver became the first to use deferred compensation in the contracts of professional athletes.
It allowed the team to pay for large salaries without going broke. He and Rosenbloom’s stepson, Steve Rosenbloom, left the Rams in 1979 following the owner’s death. Guiver worked with Steve Rosenbloom for the next two years with the New Orleans Saints. While he enjoyed the frenetic pace he kept most of his life, Guiver found an unexpected and even more gratifying reward in the last decade of his life. In an interview with the Long Beach Press Telegram, his daughter Kate said that the thing that people don’t know was that her dad was always a seeker.
He always was looking for that next challenge. Go, go, go. These last 10 years he really came to a more peaceful place and it had to do more with dedication to his church, more a religious conversion, to fill up that hole inside he kept trying to fill. It happened at Glory Tabernacle Metropolitan Community Church in 1994.
He came to the church to learn more about gay and lesbian people and there he found Jesus Christ. His whole life has changed since that day. All the stuff that once meant so much to him such as making money, buying material things, going to the fancy places didn’t mean a thing any longer. Even with the long bought with cancer these last years, they were his happiest days of his life.
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