Masaru Ibuka was born on April 11, 1908 in Nikkō City, Japan. He was an electronics industrialist and co-founded Sony Corporation.
He graduated in 1933 from Waseda University and proceeded to work at Photo-Chemical Laboratory, a firm that developed movie films. After World War II, he left and started a radio repair shop.
In 1946, Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita started a business called Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation, now called Sony Corporation. It invented Japan’s first tape recorder, the Type-G.
Later, Masaru Ibuka went to America and convinced Bell Labs to license its newly-invented transistor to his company for communications purposes. In August 1955, the Sony TR-55, Japan’s first commercially produced transistor radio, was released. Four months after, the Sony TR-72 came out. It had six transistors, push-pull output and improved sound quality. It became a sensation in Japan, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and Germany.
In 1956, Sony released the TR-6 that had a slim design. In 1957, the TR-63 model came out. It was the tiniest transistor radio for its time and this made it a global hit.
Masaru Ibuka was president of Sony from 1950 to 1971. From 1971 to 1976, he became chairman of Sony but he left in 1976. He kept close ties with Sony as adviser. He died in December 19, 1997 due to heart failure.
In 1964, Masaru Ibuka received the Distinguished Services Award from the Institute of Electrical Communication Engineers. In 1972, he accepted a Founders Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. In 1976, he was awarded Honorary Doctor of Engineering by the Sophia University and in 1979, Honorary Doctor of Science by the Waseda University. In 1981, Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies gave him the Humanism and Technology Award and in 1994, Brown University awarded him the Honorary Doctor of Science.