Anime News Network is reporting that manga translator Toren Smith passed away on March 5, 2013 at the age of 52.

Smith had been involved in manga and anime since before 1986, when he helped to organize the first major convention room for anime at California’s BayCon.

Smith worked at VIZ Communications in its first year, and he went on to translate The Legend of Kamui in 1988, which was one of the first manga ever translated into English.

Smith also founded Studio Proteus, which helped to bring such titles as Appleseed, Outlanders, Lone Wolf and Cub, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Astro Boy to the west. Smith later sold Studio Proteus in 2004 to Dark Horse Comics.

During his career, Smith also served as a translator and/or an editor on such titles as 3×3 Eyes, Anywhere But Here, Blade of the Immortal, Black Magic, Caravan Kidd, Club 9, Dominion, Domu, Drakuun, Gunsmith Cats, Last Continent, Metropolis, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Nextworld, Oh My Goddess!, Orion, Seraphic Feather, Shadow Lady, Shadow Star, Spirit of Wonder, The Two Faces of Tomorrow, The Venus Wars, What’s Michael?, and You’re Under Arrest. He also co-created Dirty Pair comics with Adam Warren.

Smith also helped to create AnimeCon 1991, along with Gainax co-founder Toshio Okada, John McLaughlin and others. This convention was the predecessor to what is now known as Anime Expo.

The character of Smith Toren in Gainax’s Aim for the Top! Gunbuster is named after Smith.

Source: ANN