Nintendo President, CEO Satoru Iwata dies at 55

The long-time president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, has died at the age of 55.

Iwata began his career as a freelance programmer and was responsible for legendary games like Balloon Fight, Kirby and more.

He became president of Nintendo when Hiroshi Yamauchi, president since 1949, stepped down.

Iwata was only the fourth president of the company.

As president, he oversaw an unprecedented period of growth for the company during the Wii/DS era which pushed Nintendo’s stock price to triple digits for a brief period.

He was also responsible for the development of the less successful GameCube and Wii U.

On April 24, 2013, Iwata also took the role of Nintendo of America's CEO.

In a statement, Nintendo said:

"Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth."

Iwata was forced to skip last year’s E3 due to poor health and, not long after, underwent surgery to remove the bile duct growth.