John Kirby, the ex-Nintendo lawyer Kirby was named right after, dies aged 79 •


Due to complications with cancer.

John Kirby, the ex-Nintendo lawyer the Kirby character was named right after, has died aged 79.

John Kirby. Image credit New York Occasions.

According to an obituary published in the New York Occasions, Kirby passed away on 2nd October 2019 surrounded by pals and family members due to complications of a blood cancer.

For the duration of Kirby’s extended tenure with Nintendo, he effectively defended the firm throughout a trademark and copyright infringement suit brought by Universal City Studios more than the Donkey Kong character. The case was about no matter if Donkey Kong violated Universal’s copyright for the King Kong character. In 1984 Nintendo won, securing Donkey Kong’s future for generations to come. Later, legendary game developer Shigeru Miyamoto named the Kirby character in his honour. According to the Times’ obit, Nintendo also gave Kirby a sailboat named the Donkey Kong.

Earlier in his profession, Kirby worked at the Division of Justice as the unique assistant to the head of the Civil Rights Division, throughout the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. There he did some outstanding stuff:

From the obit:

“At the Division of Justice, exactly where he initial worked as a summer time intern, he gathered voting records all through the South that demonstrated proof of wide-spread discrimination against African-Americans. His discovery of solutions such as literacy tests particularly created to exclude African-Americans from voting helped kind the basis of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. When at the Civil Rights Division, he also identified himself personally escorting African-American youngsters into segregated schools, surrounded by federal marshals. Later, he was appointed Deputy Director to the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest, founded in the aftermath of the killings of 4 students at Kent State University.”

According to the Occasions, in lieu of flowers, contributions might be produced to the Kirby Scholarship Fund at Fordham University, the Merton College Charitable Corporation and The Joseph F. Cullman, Jr. Institute for Patient Encounter at Mount Sinai Hospital.


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