The popular column, distributed by King Features Syndicate, first appeared in newspapers in 1956 and was created by Becker’s father, B. Jay, one of the world’s leading players for more than 50 years.
Becker began collaborating with his father on the feature in 1982, taking over completely upon B. Jay’s death in 1987. The column has long been considered the best among bridge aficionados.
Becker is active in contract bridge competition. In 1996, Becker and his brother, Michael, were on the same team that won the prestigious Reisinger Trophy, considered the premier event on the New York bridge calendar. Their exploits merited three columns by Alan Truscott in The New York Times. Becker also has compiled victories in the Goldman Pairs (1993) at the Eastern States Regional tournament in New York, and the North American Swiss Teams (1980) at the Fall North American Championships. He has represented New England 10 times in the North American Open Pairs and Teams, and has finished fourth or higher in seven major national championships.
Becker was born in New York City. While attending Queens College, from which he graduated in 1960, his devotion to bridge continued to grow. In 1964, he began working as an assistant editor for the American Contract Bridge League. He held that position until 1970, when he was appointed executive editor of the League’s monthly publication, The Contract Bridge Bulletin, with a circulation of 200,000. He edited the magazine for three years before resigning his position when the organization moved from Greenwich, Conn., to Memphis, Tenn., in late 1972.
Becker has contributed to several books on bridge and has written extensively for bridge magazines. He teaches bridge and runs duplicate bridge games in and around Fairfield County, Conn. He has two daughters and five grandchildren.