The visionary ex-president of Nintendo who changed gaming forever by giving us some of the most memorable games and characters is dead at 85. Hiroshi Yamauchi died this morning of pneumonia at a hospital in Japan.
Here is what you need to know.
1. He Left the Company in 2002
Yamuchi was made president of Nintendo after his grandfather had a stroke in 1949. His first act as president was to introduce playing cards to the Japanese market.
After the success of Atari, Nintendo expanded into early video games and spread to the United States.
He left the company in 2002 just after the release and success of the first generation of Game Boy Advance and Game Cube in 2001.
2. He Brought NES to the United States
In 1985 the Nintendo Entertainment System, still affectionately today as NES, was released in the United States becoming the best selling gaming console of the era. The console sold 34 million units in the United States and over 61 million world wide.
The NES was also called the greatest gaming console of all time by numerous gaming websites including IGN.
3. He Was the 13th Richest Person in Japan
Forbes has Yamauchi as the largest single Nintendo share holder, holding approximately ten percent of the company.
Yamachi’s net worth is approximately $2.1 billion and was listed as the thirteenth richest person in Japan.
4. He is the Momentum Behind Donkey Kong and Super Mario
As the President of Nintendo, Yamauchi directed Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto to create a game that would be successful in the United States.
The games that come out of this partnership are some of the most famous
games of all time, including the Mario franchise, the Donkey Kong franchise, Star Fox, and the Legend of Zelda. Watch the original Donkey Kong above.
5. He is Survived by a Wife and Three Kids..
..and millions of fans everywhere.