Akio Morita, a founder of Japan's Sony Corp., fit the image of dynamic entrepreneur.
He was a man who exuded seemingly limitless energy.
With his agile mind, confidence and straight talk, you might imagine him wearing a hard hat and building skyscrapers in Manhattan or drilling an oil well in Brazil.
By the mid-1980s, Morita (1921-99) had visited nearly every continent as Sony's chairman, searching out new markets.
He was one of the first major Japanese honchos to embrace a global perspective. At a time when few top Japanese execs could muster more than a few words of English, Morita was almost fluent in speaking the language with Americans.
Energetic, intuitive and curious, Morita began his business career in the bombed-out streets of Tokyo after Japan surrendered in World War II in 1945.
"I've always thought that it's in times of crisis that human beings get real vitality to survive and innovate," Morita told a reporter at Sony's Tokyo headquarters in 1985, recalling the gritty days in 1946 when he met with Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka and a handful of employees in the rubble of a Tokyo department store
The result was the forging of a tiny firm that became one of the largest consumer electronics makers.