|Anthony Pratt Article - Associated Press - Monday, December 2, 1996|
Appearing in the Illinois State Journal Register, this article by The Associated Press reads:
'Clue' inventor's death was a mystery worthy of his game
LONDON - It was a riddle worthy of the murder mystery board game Clue. But this time it was not Professor Plum in the parlor with a revolver. Waddington's Games, which owns Clue, recently tried to track down inventor Anthony Pratt to help celebrate the game's 50th anniversary, but struck out.
It eventually offered a reward and set up a special phone line - which brought the information that the former law clerk died two years ago, at age 90 in virtual obscurity.
"We had hoped to find Anthony Pratt alive and well, but we had no idea how old he might be, as the formal agreement ended with him many years ago," a Waddington's spokesman said.
"We understand that his wife is also dead and that the couple were childless. However, we are keeping our fingers crossed for a family member to come forward and accept a posthumous award." The company last heard from Pratt 10 years ago.
Gillian Lewis, superintendent of the Bromsgrove Municipal Cemetery near Birmingham, central England, called Waddington's to say Pratt was buried there in April 1994.
Waddington's at first hoped it may be another Pratt, but accepted that inevitable when Lewis confirmed that the marble headstone bears the inscription "Inventor of Cluedo," the British name of the game.
British media said he died in a Birmingham hospital but did not give the cause of death.
Pratt came up with the Cluedo idea while working as a fire warden during World War II in the northern English city of Leeds.
"Between the wars… all the bright young things would congregate in each other's homes for parties at weekends," he told the Birmingham Evening Mail in a 1990 interview.
"We'd play a stupid game called Murder where guests crept up on each other in corridors."
Pratt completed the game in 1947. Clue sold 150 million copies, and Pratt's share of the profits allowed him to leave his job and pursue his true love - playing the piano with an orchestra.
Clue, with its miniature murder weapons and colorful cast of suspects gathered in a Victorian mansion, is Waddington's best-selling game after Monopoly. It also inspired the 1985 movie "Clue."