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.