Inventor Of Iconic Party Game Twister Dies - New York News

Inventor Of Iconic Party Game Twister Dies

Posted: Updated:

The Minnesota man whose Twister game launched decades of awkward social interactions at parties has died. He was 82.

Charles "Chuck" Foley died July 1 at a care facility in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. His son, Mark Foley, said Thursday that his father had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

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.

Mark Foley is now president of un-du Products Inc., based in St. Louis Park. Chuck Foley had lived in North Carolina for a number of years, but his son said he returned to Minnesota six years ago when his health began to decline, to be closer to his family. Foley and his wife, Kathleen, had nine children. She died of breast cancer in 1975, and Foley never remarried.

"He never stopped having fun," Mark Foley said. "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."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:20:23 GMT
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
  • Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:00:24 GMT
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a...
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
  • Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:15 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:15:54 GMT

    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.


    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.



Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices