Tom Kremer, the essayist and games designer who was best known for popularising the Rubik’s Cube, has died aged 87.
He passed away peacefully in his sleep last Saturday.
He was the founder of the Notting Hills Editions publishing house, and set up the prestigious Essay Prize which bore the company’s name.
His daughter, Kim, said: “His energy, charisma, and determination to succeed inspired all of us at Notting Hill Editions, and he will be sorely missed.”
Mr Kremer was born in Transylvania, in Romania, survived Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and went on to fight in Israel’s war of independence.
He become a professional inventor and licensed the iconic Rubik’s Cube puzzle to be sold all over the world. He also created over 250 games now widely distributed in international markets.
Mr Kremer, a keen essayist, founded Notting Hill Editions in an attempt to revive the form.
In a recent interview with The Bookseller he said that at Belsen he had “seen death by a few millimetres a few times” but it was the essay that “saved [his] life”.
He said: “I discovered the profoundly meaningful idea of the essay in myself first.
“When I was 60, I had a crisis [of mental health]... One morning, I woke up, I went to the typewriter and I started writing. And, I became very quickly aware that, apart from mending myself, I was actually a born essayist. And so it became very close to me. That idea was the beginning of this company.”