Sami Kehela is one of the best players ever to play the game of bridge. Kehela has won eight major North American titles: Men’s Pairs 1963 (with Eric Murray), Spingold 1964, 1965, 1968 (all with Murray), Vanderbilt 1966, 1970 (one without Murray, one with Murray), Blue Ribbon Pairs 1967 (with Willy Lebovic) and Life Master Pairs 1970 (with Murray); he has four second-place finishes. In partnership with Murray, Kehela won the CNTC in 1980 and 1981, the Canadian Olympiad Team Trials in 1968, and the International Pairs Trials for the North American Bermuda Bowl team in 1963 and 1966. Kehela also won the Lou Herman Trophy for best performance at the 1967 Fall Nationals.
Internationally, Sami Kehela was coach of the North American team in the Bermuda Bowl in 1962, 1963, and 1965 and played with Murray on the team in 1966, 1967 and 1974, finishing second to the Italian Blue Team on all six occasions. Kehela won bronze medals in the 1968 and 1972 Olympiads and the 1982 Rosenblum. He came fifth in the World Open Pairs in 1970. Kehela played on every Canadian Olympiad team from 1960 to 1988 except 1984.
Kehela has also made significant contributions as a journalist, serving as editor of the Ontario Kibitzer, bridge columnist for Toronto Life and contributing editor to the Official Encyclopedia of Bridge. Kehela was born in Baghdad in 1934 and spent his early years in London, England and Berkeley, California before settling in Toronto.