Hiroshi Yamauchi

Hiroshi Yamauchi, who transformed Nintendo from a maker of playing cards and board games into a global videogame giant, has died at 85.

He was Nintendo’s second-largest shareholder with about 10 percent of the stock, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and was the principal owner of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. The great-grandson of Nintendo’s founder led the company from 1949 to 2002, transforming a maker of Japanese playing cards into the world’s biggest producer of video games on the back of hits including Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong.

The Associated Press reported that Yamauchi passed away of pneumonia on Thursday in a hospital in central Tokyo.

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