Hiroshi Yamauchi was the head of Nintendo from 1949 until 2002.
Hiroshi Yamauchi, the former head of video game giant Nintendo and one-time owner of the Seattle Mariners, has died at age 85. In his more than 50 years at the help of the gaming company, he guided Nintendo from a traditional trading card company into one of the largest video game companies to date.
According to the Kyoto-based Nintendo, Mr. Yamauchi passed away from pnemonia in a hospital in central Japan.
From 1949 until 2002, he spearheaded Nintendo's transition into a global powerhouse including hands-on work with the Family Computer consoles (known in the USA as the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System) and the original Game Boy. The company itself has been around since 1889.
Mr. Yamauchi was succeeded as the head of Nintendo by current company President Satoru Iwata. He stayed on with Nintendo in an advisory role but his involvement with the company had waned in recent years.
Yamauchi is survived by his eldest son, Katsuhito Yamauchi. His funeral is scheduled to take place Sunday at Nintendo headquarters after a wake the day before.