Ralph Anspach

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Ralph Anspach
ResidenceRedwood City, California
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
Occupationcollege professor (retired)
EmployerSan Francisco State University
Known forMonopoly legal fight
Notable work
Anti-Monopoly game
The Billion Dollar Monopoly Swindle
Ralph Anspach
Years of service1945-1946
Unitartillery observation
Ralph Anspach
Years of service1948-1949

Ralph Anspach (born 1926) is an American retired economics professor from San Francisco State University. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and fought with the Mahal in 1948 in support of the independence of Israel. He is best known for creating the game Anti-Monopoly and the legal battles that followed.


Ralph Anspach was born in 1926 and grew up in Germany, where he belonged to Zionist youth groups.[1] In 1938, he escaped Germany for the US. Anspach enlisted in the US Army, serving from 1945 to 1946 in an artillery observation unit based in the Philippines.[1]

While attending the University of Chicago, he heard about concentration camp survivors' problem of being shuttled about and not being allowed into Palestine. Thus, he volunteered, under the cover of being an agricultural laborer, to fight in Israel's War of Independence on Israel's side as a part of the Mahal, the foreign volunteers. Anspach served in an anti-tank unit.[1]

Anspach created the game Anti-Monopoly, which resulted in a 1974 trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Parker Brothers. While researching the case, he uncovered the patents of Lizzie Magie for her Landlord's Game, a precursor to Monopoly. In 1979, the parties reached a settlement allowing Anspach to continue marketing Anti-Monopoly.[2] In a 1983 US Supreme Court case, Anspach won the "Anti-Monopoly" and the suffix "-opoly" trademark rights from Parker Brothers. He then wrote The Billion Dollar Monopoly Swindle, a book about the true history of Monopoly and his legal fight over the game.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Katz, Leslie (June 5, 1998). "U.S. veterans of '48 war recall their Zionist passion". Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  2. ^ Pilon, Mary (October 20, 2009). "How a Fight Over a Board Game Monopolized an Economist's Life". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Collins, Doug (Nov–Dec 1998). "Go to Court, Go Directly to Court". Washington Free Press (36). Retrieved November 3, 2016.

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