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Akio Morita, co-founder of Sony Corp. dies

October 2, 1999
Web posted at: 11:01 p.m. EDT (0301 GMT)

TOKYO (CNN) -- Akio Morita, the entrepreneur, engineer and savvy salesman who co-founded Sony Corp. and helped give new meaning to the words "Made in Japan," died Sunday, Kyodo News service reported. He was 78.

Morita had been in failing health since a stroke in 1993. He died at a Tokyo hospital Sunday morning, Kyodo said.

Morita co-founded Sony in a bombed-out department store after World War II. He was the last of a generation of Japanese industrialists that included carmaker Soichiro Honda and electronics rival Konosuke Matsushita.

Under Morita's guidance, Sony was instrumental in changing Japan's image from a maker of slipshod products to a world leader in high-quality automobiles and electronics. In the process, his company became a multibillion-dollar conglomerate.

A native of the western Japanese city of Nagoya, Morita retired as Sony's chairman in 1994. A year earlier he had suffered a stroke that left him weakened and in a wheelchair.

He stayed on as honorary chairman, with current chairman Norio Ohga appointed as his successor.

ASIANOW


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August 23, 1999

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