William (Willy) Alfred Higinbotham was an American physicist. Higinbotham was a part of the team that developed the first nuclear bomb, he then became a leader in the nonproliferation movement.
While reading an instruction manual for the Donner Model 30 analog computer, he learned that the computer could calculate ballistic missile trajectories or a bouncing ball with wind resistance. The Donner Model 30 inspired the foundation of the game.
Tennis for Two was shown on October 18, 1958. The game displayed a horizontal line that represented the tennis court and a short vertical line in the center that represented the tennis net.