George S. Parker: Game Changer

George S. Parker was one of the most prolific individual inventors in toy-and game-industry history and the force behind Parker Brothers, a pioneering toy and game manufacturer.

Vital Stats

Born George Swinnerton Parker in Salem, Massachusetts in December 1866.

Died September 1952 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Head Start

Parker created his first game – Banking – at the age of 16. He self-funded the game, producing 500 copies with $40.

Capitalizing on early success, Parker formed his first company George S. Parker & Company in 1883. His goal was to change the role of games in society from strictly education-based to recreational.

Family Matters

Parker welcomed brother Charles into his flourishing game business in 1888 and changed the original name of his company to Parker Brothers. His brother Edward joined the family business in 1898.

Parker Brothers remained family owned and managed until purchased by General Mills in 1968.


Unlike many competitors and other businesses of the time, Parker Brothers experienced growth during The Great Depression. This growth was thanks to, in part, their new multiplayer strategy game called Monopoly.


Hasbro currently holds the North American rights to many Parker Brothers properties. George S. Parker was posthumously inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 1986. Parker Brothers games can still be found in homes around the world. Popular titles include Monopoly, Clue, Risk, Sorry!, and Trivial Pursuit.