It was 10 years ago today that in Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun, we learned that Hiroshi Yamauchi would be retiring after serving as Nintendo’s president for 52 years. Of course the man to take the place as president would be the then 42 year old Satoru Iwata, who for the last decade has done an incredible job with the company.

But as stated above, Yamauchi was the top dog for over half a century, taking Nintendo from being the playing card manufacturer it was to the toy industry and finally into what it’s best known for today: video games. There’s a good chance that had it not been for this man and the quality that he sought and expected from his employees, that’d we’d never have met Shigeru Miyamoto and thus never experiencing Mario, Zelda, and the many other games to followed in their footsteps.

Hiroshi Yamauchi is 85 years old today and still holds onto 10% of all that is Nintendo, so he will never be completely absent from the company. In fact, even after he left his roll as president, he still stayed on board as an active chairman and came up with the idea for Nintendo DS. I would like to thank Mr. Yamauchi for all that he’s done for the industry and wonder what he’s thinking of Nintendo these days, especially pertaining to his last creation’s successor, the 3DS and the upcoming Wii U.

Here’s to many more years of healthy and good living, Hiroshi.

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