Twister game inventor Charles "Chuck" Foley has died at the age of 82.
Responsible for decades of countless awkward encounters at parties through Twister, Foley died July 1 at a care facility in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park, The Associated Press reported.
He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease, according to his son, Mark Foley.
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Foley and a collaborator, Neil Rabens, were hired in the mid-1960s by a St. Paul manufacturing firm that wanted to expand into games and toys. They came up with a game to be played on a mat on the floor, using a spinner to direct players to place their hands and feet on different colored circles.
"Dad wanted to make a game that could light up a party," Mark Foley said. "They originally called it 'Pretzel.' But they sold it to Milton Bradley, which came up with the 'Twister' name."
The game became a sensation after Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor played it on "The Tonight Show" in 1966.
Hasbro Inc., which now manufacturers the game, said it continues to be a top seller.
"What makes the Twister game timeless is the fact that it's always been about showing off your free spirit and just having some laugh-out-loud, out of your seat fun," Hasbro Inc. said in a statement noting Foley's death.
Mark Foley said his father made little money from Twister, but that it never seemed to bother him much. The game was not his first invention, and far from his last.
Born in Lafayette, Ind., Foley's first invention came at the age of 8 — a locking system for the cattle pen at his grandfather's farm. As a young man he worked as a salesman, but his interest in games and toys led him to apply for a job at a toy company in the Minneapolis area. He moved his family to Minnesota in 1962.
Over the years, Foley invented dozens of other toys and games. He also invented a product called un-du, a liquid adhesive remover.
"He never stopped having fun," Mark Foley said about his father. "He tried to think like young people thought. He never wanted to grow up, and he always maintained his enthusiasm for seeing things through the eyes of a child."
Having lived in North Carolina for a number of years, Chuck Foley returned to Minnesota six years ago in order to be closer to his family when his health began to decline, his son Mark said.
Foley had nine children with his wife Kathleen, who died of breast cancer in 1975. Foley did not remarry.
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