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 |  Jul 25 2011, 3:00 PM

Elliot Handler, the Mattel co-founder and inventor of Hot Wheels died on July 21 at age 95 of undisclosed causes. Handler also invented the Barbie doll with wife Ruth Handler and created Hot Wheels after searching for a product that would appeal to boys. Hot wheels debuted in 1968 with a line of candy-coloured hot rods, with special fast spinning wheels. Mattel says that 41 million kids have played with Hot Wheels cars for more than four decades.

Handler was born in April 9, 1916, the second of four sons in his family, and grew up in Denver, Colorado. He met his future wife, Ruth Mosko, at a charity dance in 1932, and the couple married about five years later. Before Handler founded Mattel, he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army. Ruth Handler passed away in 2002, and,  survivors include Handler’s daughter,  his brother, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. In the last few years, Mr. Handler lived a quiet life, renting out a studio space where he would often go to paint, his daughter said.

[Source: Washington Post]