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Hiroshi Yamauchi: Nintendo Pioneer Dies At 85

Thu, September 19, 2013 1:17pm EDT by Add first Comment
Hiroshi Yamauchi Dies

So sad. The man behind countless classic video games like Super Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong, passed away on Sept. 16 in a Japan hospital after suffering from pneumonia.

Hiroshi Yamauchi, one of the forefathers of the video game industry and former Nintendo president, sadly died on Sept. 16 of pneumonia. He was 85 years old.

Hiroshi Yamauchi: Longtime Nintendo President Passes Away

Hiroshi, the grandson of Nintendo’s founder, was the head of Nintendo from 1949 to 2002, a time period during which he oversaw the releases of Game Boy, Nintendo 64, and GameCube — all game-changing innovations in the video game world.

But his biggest legacy may be the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System, which hit American stores in 1985. On the foundation of NES, Hiroshi and Nintendo went on to release utter classic video games like Super Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong, and really redefine video gaming in the United States.

When Hiroshi chose to leave the company in 2002, he refused to accept his retirement pension reportedly worth $9 to $14 million dollars, saying that Nintendo could put the money to better use.

Hiroshi also has a special place in the hearts of Seattle citizens. When the city’s baseball team, the Mariners, found itself on the verge of having to move to Florida in the early 1990s, Hiroshi jumped in and offered to buy the team and keep it in Seattle, even though he had never seen a baseball game. He owned the Mariners until 2004, when Nintendo of America became the majority owner.

With an estimated worth of around $2.1 billion, Hiroshi was ranked the 13th richest man in Japan at the time of his death, according to TMZ.

He is survived by his wife and his three children. Our thoughts and prayers are with this great man’s family and friends during this difficult time.

WATCH: Super Mario Bros. On NES

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