Doug Dabney – employee #3 at Atari – has died, his son Scott reports. Dabney’s brother Ted co-founded engineering company Syzygy back in in 1972 with Nolan Bushnell, the company that would soon become Atari.
As an early employee of the fledgling company, Doug helped out where he was needed, which means performing the brute labour tasks of physically assembling the cabinets for the first Syzygy and Atari cabinets.
Dabney has stayed out of the spotlight even more than his brother Ted, which made it difficult to confirm reports that started circulating earlier this morning. Bushnell – founder of Chuck E. Cheese as well as Atari – announced on Twitter that Ted had died, without offering any details.
It is with deep sadness that my partner and cofounder of Atari has passed. Condolences.
Marty Goldberg, co-author of Atari Inc. – Business is Fun, quickly debunked the story, explaining that it was Dabney’s brother Doug who had passed.
Curt Vendel, Marty’s co-author, has a theory on how the confusion occurred:
Nolan was quite mistaken and took my announcement on the Atari Museum facebook page incorrectly and posted that he thought Ted had passed away when in fact he has not.
These days, Ted Dabney is working with Goldberg and Vendel on the rebooted Syzygy Company on a number of assorted projects.
Our condolences to the Dabney family – and our apologies for the misunderstanding.