Deaths Elsewhere

St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), November 16, 1994 | Go to article overview
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Deaths Elsewhere


WILLIAM A. HIGINBOTHAM, 84, a physicist called the father of the video game, died of emphysema last week at his winter home in Gainesville, Ga.

In the summer of 1958, he decided to spice up visitor's day at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. He rigged up an oscilliscope so the public could play tennis on the 5-inch diameter screen, and it became a hit.

He never earned a cent from his brief dabble in what would become video games. "It seemed so obvious to me that I didn't think it was worth it" to apply for a patent, he told interviewers in the early 1980s. His game was similar to the first successful video game, Pong, which came out in 1972.

But video games were just a passing whim for Mr. Higinbotham, who was an early leader of scientists fighting nuclear proliferation. He worked on the Manhattan project at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and was a witness to the first atomic bomb detonation.

MOTOO KIMURA, 70, a Japanese geneticist who caused an international stir by challenging Darwin's theory of evolution, died of a cerebral hemorrhage Sunday (Nov.

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