Remembering Game of Life Inventor Reuben Klamer
September 14, 2021 | The toy industry is mourning the passing of Reuben Klamer, a 2005 Toy Industry Hall of Fame inductee and renowned toy inventor and designer. He died at home in La Jolla, California early this morning. He was 99.
With a gift for anticipating and capitalizing on trends, developing consumer "must-haves" across categories and working in a variety of media, Klamer’s products have been marketed by industry leaders in more than 60 countries on six continents. He is perhaps best known as the originator of the modern The Game of Life, which in 1981 became part of the permanent Archives of Family Life at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and is second in popularity only to Monopoly.
In addition to inventing a host of other bestselling toys, Klamer also pioneered the worldwide use in toys of an unbreakable plastic called polyethylene.
In the 1960s, he founded Reuben Klamer & Associates, which he went on to rename Reuben Klamer Toylab® in 1983.
Among his other accolades, he was inducted into Hasbro's Inventors Hall of Fame in 2000; received the People of Play (formerly CHITAG)’s TAGIE Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009; and honored by The Ohio State University (OSU), his alma mater, with the Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship in November 2011 and the Dean’s Distinguished Fellow Award from OSU’s Fisher College of Business in 2012. He was also named a Great Ohio State Inventor by OSU’s Science and Technology Insights in 2019.