Atari Co-Founder Ted Dabney Passes Away At Age 81


Ted Dabney pictured with his daughter. Credit: Marty Goldberg

Atari Co-founder Ted Dabney passed away on May 26th at the age of 81 from esophageal cancer. He was diagnosed in late 2017 but opted against treatment after being given only 8 months to live. His death was first reported by his close friend and video game historian Leonard Herman, who told Dabney’s story in an article for Edge magazine published in 2009. The news came from Herman’s facebook, according to EuroGamer.

Ted Dabney is pictured on the left. Credit: Computer History Museum

It was in 1971 when Dabney co-founded Syzygy Engineering with Nolan Bushnell. The first game they released was Computer Space, which Dabney created by using standard components of a television to create a video circuit. However it didn’t take off and so the duo changed their name to Atari and released Pong in 1972. After a falling out with Bushnell, who chose to patent Dabney’s video circuit idea without his name among other overshadowing and contradictions, Dabney left Atari in 1973 according to Wired. Eventually, Dabney chose to leave the industry and run a grocery store with his wife in California and then ultimately moving to Washington in retirement.

Tributes from friends and admirers are being posted all over social media in memory of Ted Dabney, may you rest in peace.

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