Julius Rosenblum was a leading world bridge personality and major benefactor to bridge in New Orleans.
He and his wife, Natalie Weiss Rosenblum, are considered the city’s first recorded bridge celebrities. A family man and successful entrepreneur, Rosenblum began playing open competitive bridge in 1943. He won his first major championship in 1944 and in 1948, became ACBL Life Master #162. He recorded wins in the Senior and Advanced Senior Pairs in 1951, the U.S. Men’s Pairs in 1960 and the Marcus Cup (a prestigious two-session board-a-match event for players with 100 or more masterpoints) in 1967.
Rosenblum captained the U.S. team that beat Italy in the 1951 Bermuda Bowl as well as the second-place Bermuda Bowl team in 1967; he was also non-playing captain for the 1960, 1966 and 1968 U.S. squads. He was secretary-treasurer of the World Bridge Federation in 1968 and president from 1970 to 1976. Rosenblum was president of the ACBL in 1951. He was named ACBL Honorary Member of the Year in 1970. In 1978 at the World Open Team Championships in New Orleans, the Rosenblum Cup was put into play in memory of Rosenblum. The trophy is awarded every four years.
The International Bridge Press Association recognized Rosenberg’s dedication and contributions to the game when it named him Personality of the Year in 1975.
Australia awarded him Life Membership – the first Australian to be so honored. Rosenblum brought numerous national and international events to New Orleans, including the World Bridge Championships (1978), the Dallas Aces Challenge Match and the Omar Sharif Challenge Match. Rosenblum was a regular at local club games. His partners included: his wife, Natalie, Frank Hoadley, Sidney Lazard, Bill Christian, Marty Nelson, June Lazard, Lou Gurvich and Louis Rosen.
Locally, Rosenblum served the Louisiana Bridge Association as president from 1948 to 1951. He and Ben McKown Sr. opened the first city-wide bridge club, consolidating the area’s two largest groups. Under private ownership, games moved to the Wilshire Plaza location on Veterans Blvd. Rosenblum and his son, Paul, provided favorable lease arrangements for the growing bridge population. This location provided a space large enough to hold sectional tournaments.
Paul Rosenblum’s subsequent buy-out of the lease provided seed funds for the current Louisiana Bridge Association clubhouse on Edenborn Ave.
When Rosenblum passed away on Jan. 1, 1978, he left a shining legacy for the bridge playing population of the world.