Eisenhower had a keen interest in bridge from the time he was a captain in the U.S.Army through his Presidency of the United States(1953-1961), and even after his retirement. Nov. 7, 1942 was the day of the landing at Casablanca which constituted the first Allied invasion after the fall of France.
During the nerve-racking period when the landing had begun and the first news had not yet come back to his headquarters, he relaxed in a celebrated bridge game with Mark Clark, Alex Gruenther and Harry C. Butcher. He used bridge as a regular recreation before the Normandy invasion when he was Supreme Allied Commander, while he was NATO chief in Paris, and during his term of office in the White House.
After his retirement he was host at occasional games at his homes at Gettysburg PA and Palm Springs CA. Oswald Jacoby characterized his skill as "superior". Jacoby said Eisenhower was capable of holding his own in all but the most expert club games. When Eisenhower was asked whom he would choose as his NATO deputy in 1950 he said: "Al Gruenther – he’s the best bridge player" among the generals).
When Gruenther called him from Chicago at 7 a.m. one day in 1960 to tell him to read theNew York Timesbridge column of that morning because it reported one of his hands, Eisenhower replied: "I’ve already read it."