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|Residence||Redwood City, California|
|Alma mater||University of Chicago|
|Occupation||college professor (retired)|
|Employer||San Francisco State University|
|Known for||Monopoly legal fight|
The Billion Dollar Monopoly Swindle
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.