Atari Cofounder Ted Dabney Dies

Posted On: 5/30/2018

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LOS ANGELES -- Samuel Frederick "Ted" Dabney Jr., a videogame pioneer who partnered with Nolan Bushnell in founding Atari, died here on May 26. He was 81.

Dabney and Bushnell met when both were engineers at Ampex. They formed a company to design a game around readily available video hardware that could emulate a high-tech amusement devised by programmers of mainframe computers -- a rudimentry interception game called Spacewar -- without the need for an expensive computer. They called their company Atari. In 1972, it launched Pong, the first successful arcade videogame.

Dabney sold his interest in Atari to Bushnell, and subsequently worked for several major electronic firms including Fujitsu and Raytheon. He formed a small company called Syzygy to pursue his own videogame projects, assisted Bushnell in starting Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre in 1977, and later worked for Teledyne before exiting the electronics industry and amusements business to manage a grocery store with his wife Carolyn.