Private funeral services were held in Japan, October 5, for Akio Morita, 78, Sony co-founder and honorary chairman, who died of pneumonia October 3 in a Tokyo hospital.

Morita, who launched Sony in partnership with engineer Masaru Ibuka in 1946, was instrumental in moving the world's consumer electronics industry into the age of solid state and had Sony introduce the first commercially successful transistor radio.

Morita became an international figure, serving as a spokesman for Japanese industry as well as for Sony, was a member of a number of corporate boards, and held chairmanships on the boards of numerous industrial and trade groups.

As an internationalist, Morita received national awards and decorations from many countries, including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. He also held several honorary doctorates and awards from professional electronics associations.

Morita stepped down from active management at Sony in 1994, the year after suffering a debilitating stroke. He spent most of the last five years at a home on Oahu, Hawaii, where he was continually kept up to date on corporate developments by visiting executives.

Morita's survivors include his wife, two sons and a daughter.


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