Date: 20th November 2007.

Pinball historian and author Russ Jensen passed away on Saturday 10th November, aged 71.

Russ Jensen - picture courtesy Pingame Journal

Russ was a prolific author of pinball articles since the '70s making many of them available via his website and would happily reprint them for anyone who asked. He also made a massive contribution to the Internet Pinball Database, supplying many hundreds of pictures from his extensive archive.

He was a familiar face in pinball circles for many years and could often be seen at Pinball Expo diligently transcribing the seminars for future reference and to ensure the information they revealed was not lost to the pinball community.

Pinball News asked fellow long-time Expo attendee and pinball author Gary Flower to give his memories of Russ.

Last week I heard the sad news that Russ Jensen, Pinball Historian, passed away.

I didn't know Russ that well. Suffice to say he was a legend. Born in the late 1930s Russ was seduced into the world of pinball by his natural curiosity of how these mechanical marvels operated.

We first met at Pinball Expo back in 1985, he was a committed attendee until he had to stay home and care for his ailing wife a few years back.

Russ was a paradox, on the one hand apparently keeping himself to himself: often seen, at Expo, walking around on his own with his notebook, scribbling away. On the other hand he was always willing to share his knowledge with others. He was particularly known for giving his two cents worth in his regular contributions to pinball publications, under the by line "5 cents, 5 balls". His first article was printed in the Amusement Review in 1978. He was also published in Coin Slot and the PinGame Journal.

There was another paradox with Russ; in the time I knew him, he had very poor eyesight. Whilst that may have stopped him playing the games he loved so much it did not stop him peering over every minute detail of a game or spending hours and hours researching his specialist subject.

Not only did he share his knowledge, by virtue of his articles published in the pinball magazines, he also maintained a website and wrote a book "Russ Jensen's Pinball Troubleshooting Guide".

He also made himself very available via the magazines he wrote for; and providing his electronic and snail-mail addresses freely.

It's a sign of Russ's modesty that he didn't promote his book on his own website!

* For a more detailed biography read Russ's story as he wrote it at

A memorial fund has been set up in Russ's name by Pinball Magic's Jesse Kujawa at: and donations will go to the American Cancer Society.

A mirror copy of Russ's website has been preserved by the good folks at the Internet Pinball Database in case his AOL account is closed and that version disappears. You can access it at:

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