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Hiroshi Yamauchi, who turned Nintendo into a powerhouse, dies at 85

Hiroshi Yamauchi, 85, who transformed his great-grandfather's playing-card company, Nintendo, into a global video game powerhouse, died of pneumonia Sept. 19 in Kyoto, Japan.

David Hubel, 87, who was half of an enduring scientific team that won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for explaining how the brain assembles information from the eye's retina to produce detailed images of the world, died of kidney failure Sept. 22 in Lincoln, Mass. He collaborated with Torsten Wiesel in winning the prize in 1981.

Christopher Koch, 81, who was widely regarded as one of Australia's finest novelists and whose best-known book, The Year of Living Dangerously, became even better known as a film, died of cancer Monday in Hobart, Australia.

Ruth Patrick, 105, a scientist whose research on freshwater ecosystems led to groundbreaking ways to measure pollution in rivers and streams, died Monday in Lafayette Hill, Pa. She was the recipient of dozens of the nation's top science awards.

Robert R. Taylor, 77, an entrepreneur who in 1978 took soap out of dishes, put it in pump bottles with the name Softsoap and forever changed the way people wash up, died of cancer Aug. 29 in Newport Beach, Calif. He also introduced Obsession by Calvin Klein, a fragrance for women.

Carolyn Cassady, 90, a writer who entered the American consciousness in 1957 as a character in Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road, and decades later chronicled her life as a member of the Beat Generation, died of acute appendicitis Sept. 20 in Bracknell, England. She was once married to Kerouac's travel companion, Neal Cassady, and was a close friend of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg.

Philip Berg, 86, a rabbi whose Kabbalah Center International put a modern spin on an ancient Jewish mystical tradition, attracting celebrities like Madonna, Demi Moore and Britney Spears but also incurring criticism on spiritual and financial matters, died of respiratory failure and pneumonia Sept. 16 in Los Angeles.

James van Sweden, 78, a landscape architect who in the 1970s successfully reinvented the look and character of the American garden, died of Parkinson's disease Sept. 20 in Washington. His the company became known internationally for its radically different approach to landscape design — replacing staid evergreen hedging, bedding annuals and groomed lawns with broad sweeps of long, flowering perennials and ornamental grasses.

Marcel Reich-Ranicki, 93, who grew up in Poland and Nazi Germany, survived the Warsaw Ghetto and went on to become post-war Germany's best-known literary critic, died Sept. 18 in Frankfurt.

Luciano Vincenzoni, 87, an urbane Italian screenwriter who worked with Billy Wilder, Dino De Laurentiis and other giants of film but to his dismay was best known for writing the spaghetti westerns For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly starring a young Clint Eastwood, died Sept. 22 in Rome. To the end of his days, he seemed mystified that his more serious work was overshadowed by those two films, even though they are now recognized as classics.

Alvaro Mutis, 90, a celebrated Colombian-born writer and poet who was considered by critics as one of the most outstanding poets and storytellers of his generation, died of a cardiorespiratory ailment Sept. 22 in Mexico City. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author, once described his friend as "one of the greatest writers of our time."

Hiroshi Yamauchi, who turned Nintendo into a powerhouse, dies at 85 09/28/13 [Last modified: Saturday, September 28, 2013 5:52pm]
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