Creator of Iconic LEGO Yellow Minifigures Jens Nygaard Knudsen Dies At 78

Jens Nygaard Knudsen, creator of the Lego minifigure and many other childhood favorites, passed away last February 19. He was 78 years old.

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Nygaard Knudsen was the designer behind Lego’s yellow minifigures. He was responsible for their development before their public release in 1978. He worked at Lego from 1968 to 2000 and was also at the helm of their space and castle sets.

His widow Marianne Nygaard Knudsen called him a “man of ideas” in an interview with Danish broadcaster TV2.

“The figure was created so that there would be life in the houses,” she said. “At the time Lego’s houses were empty, but then he drew this man.”

Nygaard Knudsen suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He passed away at a hospice in Anker Fjord, Denmark while being treated for the disease.

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