Business Magnate. He is credited with launching the game industry in North America. Born in Vienna, Maine in 1836, he decided to become a printer in his early teens, and set about learning the trade. In 1860, he set up a print shop in Springfield, Massachusetts, and that year, printed a beardless likeness (lithograph) of presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, which sold in the thousands until Lincoln grew a beard two years later. About the time his lithography business was starting to decline, a friend invited him to play a board game that he had purchased in Europe. Inspired by the idea, Bradley designed his own board game, called "The Checkered Game of Life" (it is still being sold today, but is now updated and just called "The Game of Life"). By 1861, he had sold more than 45,000 copies of the game. In 1869, Bradley published America's first book for kindergarteners, "Paradise of Childhood" by Friedrich Froebel. Bradley then decided to devote his entire business to children's needs, including writing four children's books himself. His book, "Colour in the Kindergarten" (1893), quickly became a best seller. In 1880, he expanded his business to include jigsaw puzzles, and today, the MB Company is one of the world's largest makers of games and puzzles. He died in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1911, but his company continued on, making educational materials and new games for children. In 1984, the company was acquired by Hasbro, Incorperated, of Rhode Island, but Hasbro kept the name active since many people liked its products. In 1962, the Milton Bradley Company moved to a new plant in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, where it operates today.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson