Ralph H. Baer

Ralph H. Baer Brief Biography

Ralph Henry Baer (born Rudolf Heinrich Baer; March 8, 1922 - December 6, 2014) was a German-born American video game developer, inventor, and engineer, and was known as "The Father of Video Games" due to his many contributions to games and the video game industry in the latter half of the 20th century.

Born in Germany, he and his family fled to the United States before the outbreak of World War II, where he changed his name and later served the American war effort. Afterwards, he pursued work in electronics. In 1951, while working at Loral, he was asked to build "the best television set in the world". He proposed the idea of playing games on television screens, but his boss rejected it. Later in 1966, while working at Sander Associates, his 1951 idea came back to his mind, and he would go on to develop eight hardware prototypes. The last two (the Brown Box and its de/dt extension) would become the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey. He would contribute to the development of other consoles and consumer game units. In February, 2006, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology for "his groundbreaking and pioneering creation, development and commercialization of interactive video games, which spawned related uses, applications, and mega-industries in both the entertainment and education realms".

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