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Chuck Foley, co-inventor of Twister party game, dies at 82

Chuck Foley, left, and Neil Rabens invented Twister. Foley’s other inventions included soft-tipped darts, plastic toy handcuffs and “un-du,” a liquid adhesive remover.

Associated Press (1966)

Chuck Foley, left, and Neil Rabens invented Twister. Foley’s other inventions included soft-tipped darts, plastic toy handcuffs and “un-du,” a liquid adhesive remover.

LOS ANGELES — Chuck Foley, whose Twister party game brought shoeless strangers achingly close to one another, has died. He was 82.

The inventor, who held 97 patents, died July 1 in a care facility in St. Louis Park, Minn., family members said Wednesday. He had Alzheimer's disease.

Foley came up with a wide variety of gizmos and games, including a hand-launched toy helicopter, soft-tipped darts, plastic toy handcuffs and "un-du," a liquid adhesive remover.

"I was born with a gift," Foley told the New York Times in 1998. "Ideas pop into my head."

Twister, marketed as "The Game That Ties You Up in Knots," was born as a collaboration between Foley and cartoonist Neil Rabens when they worked at a St. Paul, Minn., design firm in the mid 1960s.

Born Sept. 6, 1930, in Lafayette, Ind., Charles Frederick Foley displayed his inventiveness early. When he was 8, he came up with a latch that would automatically close a gate to keep livestock penned on the family farm.

After high school, he worked on a Ford assembly line and saw many possibilities for innovation. When he equipped his 1952 Plymouth Belvedere with homemade, tricolor taillights — green for speeding up, orange for slowing down and red for stopping — the police officer who cited him also congratulated him.

After serving in the Michigan Air National Guard from 1950 to 1953, he was a salesman for a furnace-cleaning service and worked for companies developing products such as an automatic cocktail shaker.

"He was extremely creative and had an open mind to any opportunity that could make a difference in people's lives," son Mark Foley said.

In his later years, Foley lived in North Carolina, where he regularly spoke to school classes about inventions.

Chuck Foley, co-inventor of Twister party game, dies at 82 07/11/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 11, 2013 9:41pm]
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