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Akio Morita, Sony Founder, Dies

Photonics Spectra
Dec 1999
Akio Morita, the founder and honorary chairman of Sony Corp. in Tokyo, died of pneumonia Oct. 3.

Morita founded the company with Masaru Ibuka as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo KK (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corp.) in 1946 with 20 employees and ¥190,000. Despite criticism, Morita changed the company's name to Sony Corp. in 1958. Sony offered its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in 1961, the first Japanese company to do so.

Nobuyuki Idei, Sony's president and CEO, said Morita had developed and nurtured an open-minded sensibility for the company and that he had worked to promote understanding between Japan and the rest of the world.

Morita, who was 78, is survived by his wife, Yoshiko, a daughter and two sons.

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