Allan B. Calhamer (December 7, 1931 - February 25, 2013) was the inventor and developer of the now classic game of negotiation, war, and geopolitics, Diplomacy.
Calhamer first conceived of the game as a teenager in 1945, upon reading an article in Life magazine about the earlier, pre-World War I, balance of strength among the dominant European nations or “Great Powers”. Calhamer also claims to have been influenced by the group dynamics of the card game Hearts, which he played while at high school, and by the number of spaces and pieces, as well as the economy of the King's move, in Chess. During the early 1950s, while an undergraduate and then law student at Harvard, he would perfect the scope and mechanism of his game, while his professors presented him with a further sequence of influential ideas on international relations and political thought.
A prototype of the game having been completed already by 1954, an even more definitive and playtested version of Diplomacy was ready in 1958. This version is clearly recognizable by the modern gamer and has been little revised since. In 1959 Calhamer had Diplomacy self-published in 500 copies, after rejection by several game companies. From that time, the game would gradually but comfortably grow in popularity.
Calhamer is also listed on BGG as the designer of two considerably less exposed games, Hyperspace and Surigao Strait. Finally, he is author of a book appreciated by seasoned players of his game: Calhamer on Diplomacy: The Boardgame "Diplomacy" and Diplomatic History (Bloomington IN: 1st Books Library, 1999).
Although this book is no longer in print, a series of articles by Calhamer can be found at the diplomacy-archive under Articles by Allan B. Calhamer.