30 August 2010

RIP Charles S. Roberts

The father of modern wargaming passed away last week at age 80.

Mr. Roberts, whose father and grandfather were veteran B&O railroaders, was born in Baltimore and raised in Catonsville. He was also a great-great nephew of Charles Swann Roberts, who was president of the B&O from 1848 to 1853. Mr. Roberts caught "railroad fever" in his childhood.

After graduating from Catonsville High School in 1947, he worked for the old Herald-Argus newspaper and as a copy boy at The Sun's old Sun Square building at Charles and Baltimore streets.

In 1948, he enlisted in the Army and, after being discharged in 1952, he joined the Maryland National Guard.

During the 1950s, Mr. Roberts launched his career in advertising, working at VanSant Dugdale & Co. and Emery Advertising Corp.

In 1958, he founded Avalon Hill Co., a Baltimore game publishing company that specialized in war and other mental combat games such as "D-Day," "Stalingrad," "Battle of the Bulge," "Gettysburg" and "Victory in the Pacific."

He later expanded the line of board games to include such rail-related board games "Rail Baron," "Dispatcher," and "B&O/C&O."

By: Brant

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