The toy industry icon credited with creating the modern version of The Game of Life has died.
Reuben Klamer died at home in La Jolla, California on September 14, 2021. He was 99.
Klamer was tapped by Milton Bradley to create a new game to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 1960. Inspired by The Checkered Game of Life, Klamer’s Game of Life went on to sell more than 70 million copies across countless versions, first by Milton Bradley and later by Hasbro.
During his lengthy career, Klamer worked on hundreds of toys, including Fisher-Price Preschool Trainer Skates; the Art Linkletter Hoop; Ideal Toys’ Gaylord the Walking Dog; Hasbro’s Moon Rocks and Dolly Darlings; A.C. Gilbert’s Erector Sets, and more. He is also cited as a pioneer in the use of polyethylene plastic in toys.
In 2000, Klamer was inducted into the Hasbro Inventor’s Hall of Fame and in 2005 he entered the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. He received the TAGIE (Toy & Game International Excellence) Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Toy & Game Group in 2009.
For more on Klamer’s career and legacy, see this entry at People of Play.
Funeral services will be held at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to The Toy Foundation, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, or another charitable organization.