Allan Calhamer, inventor of game ‘Diplomacy,’ dies

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CHICAGO (AP) - Allan Calhamer (KAL’-uh-mehr), whose 1950s board game “Diplomacy” garnered a loyal following over the years that reportedly included President John F. Kennedy, Henry Kissinger and Walter Cronkite, among others, has died. He was 81.

Calhamer’s daughter, Selenne Calhamer-Boling, said Saturday that her father died Monday at a hospital in the Chicago suburb of La Grange.

Calhamer invented “Diplomacy” while studying at Harvard University in the early 1950s. Players represent seven European powers at the beginning of the 20th century and vie for dominance by strategically forging and breaking alliances. Unlike “Risk,” there are no dice, and a player’s success is largely based on his or her negotiating skills.

Despite its popularity, Calhamer didn’t get rich off the game and eventually returned to La Grange Park to work as a postman.

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