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|Ralph H. Baer|
|Ralph Baer working on a Brown Box reproduction in 2012|
|Birthday/Birthplace||Rudolf Heinrich Baer
(1922-03-08)March 8, 1922
Rodalben, Palatinate, Germany
|Deceased||December 6, 2014(2014-12-06)
Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.
|Profession(s)||Inventor, video game designer, engineer|
|Wife/Husband||Dena Whinston (m. 1952; her death 2006)|
|Kid(s)||James, Mark, Nancy|
Ralph H. Baer birth name Rudolf Heinrich Baer (Rodalben, Rhineland-Palatinate, March 8, 1922 – Manchester (New Hampshire), December 6, 2014) was an engineer, pioneer of video games and German-American inventor. He is known as “the Father of video games”, being recognized for his great contributions to games and the video game industry. In 2006, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology for “his transcendental and pioneering creation, development and commercialization of interactive video games, which generated numerous uses, applications and large industries both in the field of entertainment and in the field of education.”
Ralph Baer’s Biography
When Baer was eleven years old, he was expelled from school in Germany because he was Jewish, so he had to go to a totally Jewish school. His father worked in a shoe factory in Pirmasens for a while. Two months before the Night of Broken Glass, his family escaped from Germany with him. In the United States, he was self-taught (he studied on his own) and worked in a factory for a weekly salary of twelve dollars. He graduated from the National Radio Institute as a radio service technician in 1940. In 1943 he was recruited to fight in World War II, being assigned to military intelligence at the headquarters of the United States Army in London.
Baer graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Television Engineering (unique at the time) from the American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago.
In 1949, Baer went to work as the chief engineer of a small medical electro-equipment company. It was at Wappler Inc. where he designed and built surgical cutting machines, epilators and muscle toning equipment by generating low frequency pulses. In 1951, Baer worked as chief engineer for Loral Electronics in the Bronx, New York, where he designed signaling equipment for high voltage power lines for IBM. During that year, Baer was charged with the goal of “building the best television in the world”, and he suggested that this “perfect” television should have some type of interactive game, as another element to differentiate itself from the rest of televisions. His suggestion was not taken into account at that time.
From 1952 to 1956, he worked at Transitron, Inc., in New York City, as a chief engineer and later as vice president. He founded his own company before joining Sanders Associates in 1956, where he remained until his retirement in 1987.
Baer is best known for leading the development of the Brown Box, the first desktop console and his pioneering work patented in establishing videogames Since 1983, he teamed up with Bob Pelovitz of MicroPROS Technology Solutions, and together They have invented and commercialized toy and game ideas, and in the year of 2006, Baer donated all their prototype hardware and documents to Smithsonian.
Baer was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).
More Facts about Ralph Baer
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