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Former Nissan Executive Yutaka Katayama Dead At 105 [VIDEO]

(Photo : Getty Images/J. Wilds/Keystone) Nov. 14, 1970: Racing driver Tony Fall standing next to his Datsun 240 Z before the start of the 2,300 mile RAC International Rally of Great Britain. Yutaka Katayama, known as 'father of the Z,' died in Tokyo Feb. 19, 2015, at age 105.

Yutaka Katayama passed away Thursday in Tokyo at the age of 105. According to the Associated Press, the former Nissan executive died as a result of heart failure. Katayama was known as being the "father of the Z" in the automotive industry.

The Datsun Z sports car was Yutaka Katayama's most notable contribution in his long career. He was widely respected and affectionately referred to as "Mr. K" within the Z community. "With a love of cars and a flare for promotion, he built the Datsun brand, Nissan's initial brand name in the U.S., from scratch," the Japanese automaker said on its Yokohama-based website last year.

Katayama joined Nissan in 1935. He is credited with being responsible for the very first Tokyo Motor Show back in 1954 and for founding Nissan's operations in America. He retired from the company in 1977. He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in both Japan (2008) and the U.S. (1998).

Yutaka Katayama is survived by his wife, four children, 11 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

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