Reuben Klamer Wins 59 year Tug-of-War over Iconic Game of Life Board Game

  (Reuben autographing games at Chicago Toy & Game Fair in 2009 with a line that wrapped around the Hasbro booth and out the door! ) 


A year ago my son Nick and I had the pleasure of dinner with dear friends Reuben Klamer and Bea Pardo. My son was extra excited because dinner was at the La Jolla Golf Club where one of his favorite golfers, Phil Michelson, is a member.


Before dinner, we were able to see where the magic happens - Reuben's home office with his many treasures. It was a special night with the exception of the cloud of a court hearing coming up on the case that was finally decided. My heart went out to Reuben and Bea to have to deal with such things instead of creating more toys and games as well as enjoy the many successes to date. 


Reuben invented the Game of Life and much much more. You can read this interview with Reuben by Joyce Johnson that we posted a few years ago. What the interview didn't mention was the ongoing lawsuit that has finally been put to rest after 59 years.... finally! The story is at the end of this article. 


 (Reuben, Bea, my son Nick and me on our way to dinner)


Reuben was our Lifetime Achievement Honoree at the 2009 Toy & Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Awards. The following year he came out to toast fellow inventor legend and close friend Eddie Goldfarb, our 2010 honoree. These two are legends! 


And they are inspirations! Several years ago Reuben drove from La Jolla to a pub event we hosted in Santa Monica and was pitching people at companies he had not worked with yet. His appetite for pitching matches his love of food (he ate his burger and half of mine)!


A story he told that evening demonstrates the impact Reuben and others in our industry have on the world. Just before Reuben had heart bypass surgery years ago, his surgeon shared that he chose the medical field because he only won the game when he was the doctor in the Game of Life. 


I do what I do because play is absolutely vital to making us better people. Sharing stories like Reuben's connects us and shows the magic of our industry to the world... which promotes play! 


Thank you, Reuben!