Rocky Aoki

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Rocky Aoki was a Japanese American entrepreneur and founder of the popular Benihana restaurant chain. He was born on October 9, 1938, in Tokyo, Japan and later immigrated to the United States.

After arriving in the United States, Aoki attended New York City Community College and studied restaurant management. In 1964, he opened the first Benihana restaurant in New York City, which quickly gained a reputation for its unique teppanyaki-style cooking and entertaining chefs.

Aoki's innovative approach to Japanese cuisine helped to popularize Japanese food in the United States and made Benihana a global brand. Over the years, he expanded the chain to locations around the world, and by the time of his death, there were over 100 Benihana restaurants worldwide.

In addition to his work with Benihana, Aoki was also a noted philanthropist and was involved in various charitable organizations. He supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation and was a sponsor of the New York City Marathon.

Aoki passed away on July 10, 2008, at the age of 69, but his legacy continues to live on through the success of the Benihana chain and his contributions to the world of Japanese cuisine. His life and work are a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and the power of hard work and determination to achieve success in the face of adversity. Aoki's legacy serves as an inspiration to future generations of entrepreneurs and business leaders.