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The Passing of a Legend: D&D; Co-Creator Dies
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Written by Thomas "CigDangle" Balistreri   
Wednesday, 05 March 2008


Gaming legend and Wisconsin resident, Ernest Gary Gygax, passed away yesterday at his home in Lake Geneva at age 69.  According to his wife Gail, Gary had been battling several health problems including an abdominal aneurysm.

Mr. Gygax teamed with Dave Arneson in 1974 and developed Dungeons & Dragons.  Gygax’s widow said he enjoyed hearing and receiving visits from fans of the game, many of whom would stop by their home in Lake Geneva, WI.  A gamer till the end, Gary was still hosting weekly games of D&D until January when his condition would no longer allow it.

Mrs. Gygax said, "It really meant a lot to him to hear from people from over the years about how he helped them become a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman, what he gave them.  He really enjoyed that."

The child of a Swiss immigrant father and an American mother, Gygax was born and raised in Chicago until his family moved to Lake Geneva in 1946.  His father was a violinist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and often read fantasy books to his son.

A high school dropout, Gygax did take some college classes in anthropology at the University of Chicago.  It was during this time, while working as an insurance underwriter that he began playing “war-themed board games”, but Gygax wasn’t satisfied.  He longed for something that reminded him of his childhood escapades into the world of fantasy.  He quit his job, and became a shoe repairman to make more time to work on his idea.

Gary Gygax would go onto to write numerous fantasy books, as well as Dungeon & Dragons manuals and materials.

Gygax is survived by his widow and six children.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 March 2008 )

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