Klamer is best known for The Game of Life, his signature invention, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2010. The game is marketed in 50 countries in 25 languages, and ranks second only to Monopoly in board game popularity, having sold more than 50 million copies to date.
The inventor also counts 45 additional games and more than 150 toys and dolls among his creations, including the classic Fisher-Price pre-school Trainer skates, which are still on the market after 25 years, Moon Rocks, Erector Sets, Busy Blocks and Zoo-It-Yourself, the Art Linkletter Hoop and Gaylord the Walking Dog.
Mary Couzin, executive director of the Chicago Toy and Game Group and organizer of both the Fair and Tagie Awards, said: “We were thrilled and honoured to have Reuben in Chicago to accept his award.
“Reuben is only our second Lifetime Achievement Award winner. He personifies all that is wonderful about this talented group of men and women: he’s brilliant, he’s clever and he loves to have fun. When he finished his acceptance remarks, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
Klamer commented: “I accept this honour with humility and excitement. It’s a great privilege, and I will remember it for the rest of my life.”
The Strong National Museum of Play, a six-acre museum in Rochester, NY is planning a new installation of Tagie Lifetime Achievement Award honorees with materials and artifacts from their careers.