Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man who ran Nintendo Co. for 53 years, has died at the age of 85.
Yamauchi, the grandson of Nintendo's founder, died Thursday from pneumonia complications, according to a statement released by the company. He was Nintendo's largest shareholder with about 10 percent of the stock.
He ran Nintendo from 1942 to 2002. After stepping down, Yamuachi remained a shareholder and retained an advisory role in the company. In 2008 he was named Japan's richest man by Forbes Asia with a net worth of $7.8 billion.
Under Yamauchi's reign, Nintendo rolled out the first portable video game device called "Game $ Watch," in 1980. He was also behind the creation of a few of the brand's staple characters, by hiring artist Shigeru Miyamoto, who crafted the likes of Donkey Kong, Mario and Zelda.
Yamauchi is survived by his oldest son Katsuhito.