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Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo's Visionary President, Dies

Hiroshi Yamauchi (left), with the founder of Kyocera, Kazuo Inamori, in 2000.
Hiroshi Yamauchi (left), with the founder of Kyocera, Kazuo Inamori, in 2000.

For those of us of a certain age, Hiroshi Yamauchi brings fond memories of childhood triumph. His name was always in the end credits of Nintendo games during the company's heyday in the '80s and '90s.

Yamauchi, who was president of Nintendo from 1949 to 2002, re-imagined the Kyoto-based firm from a playing-card company to a pioneer in the video game industry. Yamauchi died Thursday at age 85.

David Sheff, author of Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World, says Yamauchi was a ruthless business man who, nonetheless, had a knack for picking talent.

In truth, his legacy could be summed up by just listing three groundbreaking video games he ushered into life: Donkey Kong, Zelda and Mario Bros.

All Things Considered aired this remembrance of Yamauchi's life:

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