Backgammon Community Mourns the Loss of Hall of Famer Ed O’Laughlin, Champion and Mentor, at 85

He played backgammon for over four decades, continually improving and maintaining his curiosity and enthusiasm.
Ed O'laughlin in 2021

The backgammon community sends its condolences to the family of Ed O’Laughlin who passed away in his sleep July 5 at age 85. He is survived by his wife Evelyn O’Laughlin, his son Austin O’Laughlin and his daughter Erin Yanchack.

Backgammon was his passion and he rose to its heights with his induction into the American Backgammon Hall of Fame in 2020. His peers voted him onto the Giants of Backgammon list ten times over 30 years.

He played backgammon for over four decades, with his game just getting stronger and stronger over his career. He was an avid student of the game and never lost his curiosity and enthusiasm.

2021 Hall of Fame Dinner. Ed was inducted in 2020

In high school track, he was nicknamed “Lightning” for his speed. While that didn’t apply to the speed of his backgammon play, he was an endurance runner and an unstoppable, consistent year-after-year winner, holding the #3 place in All-Time ABT points, and #1 ABT Player of the Year in 2016, a “lightning” year for him — placing in 17 major events. He won many ABT championships including the 2021 Las Vegas Open and the California State Championships and the 2019 Sunny Florida and Connecticut Championships.

2016 USBGF National Championship

He won the U.S. Backgammon Federation National Championship in 2016, and finished second as recently as the 2024 National Championship held at the Cherry Blossom tournament. In 2022 he came in second in the Backgammon World Championship Super Jackpot and won the Super Seniors at the 2023 New York Metro.

He supported the growth of the Beltway Backgammon and Northern Virginia backgammon clubs and launched the Capital Classic ABT tournament, most recently held in November 2023, where he finished in second place in the Championship division.

He was generous with his time and patience, both as a competitor and a mentor, earning the affection and support of his D.C.-area backgammon family. He will be remembered!

Feb 2019

Visit his memorial page to send your condolences and share your memories of Ed.

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