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Ralph H. Baer
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (March 8, 1922-December 6, 2014)
    Born in Rodalben, Germany
    Designed the Magnavox Odyssey video game console (1972) and the memory game 'Simon' (1978)
    Held over 150 patents
    Received the National Medal of Technology (2006)
    Inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame (2010)
    Despite creating the first gaming console, he tended to be overshadowed by Norman Bushnell, who marketed the more popular Pong.
    While working for TV manufacturer Loral, he proposed adding games to distinguish their sets on the market and was told, 'Just build the damn sets. You're already behind schedule.' (1951)
    After developing a gaming console at defense contractor Sanders Associates, the result was rejected by several electronics manufacturers, including General Electric, RCA, Zenith and Motorola.
    He complained about violent video games: 'What I created got abominated.'
    He said, 'Anybody over 35 can’t play today’s games. Who has the patience?' (2004)
    When he was 11, he was expelled from school and forced to go to an all-Jewish school.
    His family left Germany two months before Kristallnacht really ramped up the anti-semitism in Germany (1938).
    He served with military intelligence during World War II.
    He was married to Dena Whinston for 53 years.
    When he took his prototype gaming console to the patent examiner's office and set it up, 'within 15 minutes, every examiner on the floor of that building was in that office wanting to play the game.'
    He donated his prototype gaming console to the Smithsonian.
    He was still working on electronics a year before his death.

Credit: C. Fishel

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