In Memoriam
Leonard A. Bernheimer

The Squash Doubles Association is deeply sadden  to report the passing of Board Member, US Squash Hall of Famer and former US Squash President, Leonard (Lenny) Bernheimer.

Leonard A. Bernheimer died on Tuesday, March 25, from complications from pancreatic cancer. He was eighty-two years-old.

One of the most beloved members of the American squash community, Lenny Bernheimer grew up in Boston and first played squash at Williams, where he graduated in 1963. A longtime member of the University Club of Boston, Bernheimer became one of the great masters players of all time. He won numerous Massachusetts state titles. Nationally, he was extremely versatile. In hardball singles, he won the 40+ in 1983, 1985 and 1986; the 45+ in 1987, 1988 and 1991; and the 50+ in 1992 and 1994. But it was as a right-wall doubles player where Bernheimer was even more dominant, winning seventeen national age-group titles: he won the 40+ in 1991 (with Charlie Jacobs), the 50+ in 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1998 (with Tom Poor); the 55+ in 1999 (with Ralph Howe) and in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 (with Poor); the 60+ in 2005 and 2006 (with Poor); the 65+ in 2009 (with Poor); the 70+ in 2014 (with Poor); the 75+ in 2017 and 2018 (with Bart McGuire) and the 80+ in 2023 (with McGuire).

Bernheimer also made an impact internationally. He represented the U.S. at the 1977 Maccabiah Games in Israel, winning the silver medal. That same year he played for Team USA at the World Team Championships in Canada. In January 2024 he captured his last national title when at the Century tournament in New York, he won the 80+ division with Kush Kumar. It was just after the Century that he was diagnosed with cancer. Bernheimer was renowned for his sportsmanship, kindness and love of the squash community on and off the court.

Bernheimer was a behind-the-scenes catalyst for some of the most vital aspects of the game. He was a board member of Massachusetts Squash for four decades, including serving as chair. He was president of the U.S. Jesters Club in 1994-1996. He was a leader of US Squash for much of the 1970s and 1980s, including serving as chair of the racquets & balls committee and the sponsorship committee and as assistant secretary in 1975-77 and secretary in 1977-80. He was an engaged, consensus-driven president of US Squash from 1984 to 1986. At that time he played a critical role in expanding access to the game, and his years as president were a high-water mark for American squash, with more membership increases, corporate sponsorship and entries into national tournaments than before or since. In 1996 he was the founding chair of the board of the world’s first urban squash program, SquashBusters. He chaired the board for its first eleven years, helping sustain the fledgling program and ensure that the urban squash movement got off the ground. Along with Poor, he was the tournament director of the Boston Open from its founding in 1970 until it ended in 1991. The Boston Open was one of the majors on the professional men’s hardball tour, the most innovative event on the calendar. The Boston Open in 1984 was the first portable court tournament in the U.S. For decades after, Bernheimer and Poor ran a major stop on the pro hardball doubles tour at the University Club of Boston.

Lenny Bernheimer was awarded the President’s Cup, the highest individual award at US Squash, in 1993. He was inducted into the United States Squash Hall of Fame in 2012.

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