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Sports Bookmaker Ed Curd Dies at 98

May 14, 2002

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Ed Curd, credited with developing point-spread betting, died at his Lexington home. He was 98.

In his heyday, Curd was known throughout the United States for his bookmaking. He was famous in the 1940s for his Mayfair Bar on East Main Street, where an upstairs phone room handled high rollers from across the country.

His specialty was sports betting, but he also had been involved in betting on elections.

``I think he would gamble on about anything that came along,″ said Kilbern Cormney, owner of Lexington’s Campbell House Inn and a friend since 1932.

Among his friends were actor George Raft, oddsmaker and television sports commentator Jimmy ``The Greek″ Snyder, former Kentucky Gov. A.B. ``Happy″ Chandler and longtime Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp.

In the early 1950s, gangster Frank Costello admitted in a televised Senate committee session that he gambled. When asked with whom, he said: ``With my little friend, Ed Curd, in Lexington, Ky.″

Curd said he knew Costello.

Curd, who died Sunday, is survived by his wife, Pauline; his son, Ed Curd Jr. of Florida; and a grandson, Ed Curd III, of Las Vegas.

Services will be held Thursday at St. Paul Catholic Church.

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