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We’ve learned (via Benj Edwards) some tragic news. Mario Segale – the namesake for Nintendo’s flagship mascot Mario, has died at the age of 84.
Segale passed away surrounded by his family in Tukwila, Washington, on October 27th.
Finding success in real estate development, Segale was the original landlord for Nintendo of America, way back in 1981. At the time Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto was calling the character “Jumpman” and his girlfriend “Lady”, as they were originally designed their previous hit, Donkey Kong.
Nintendo wanted a snappier name for the hero, so they named him after their landlord – Mario. They also named his girlfriend after a Nintendo of America employee’s wife, Pauline. Despite the success of the franchise, Segale reportedly never really wanted to be associated with it – out of fear it would affect his business prospects and deals.
Segale’s obituary notes that he was fond of fishing, hunting, and his airplane. Back in 1993, the Seattle Times once again polled him on the wildly popular game character named after him – to which he said “You might say I’m still waiting for my royalty checks.”
The latest mainline game in the Super Mario franchise, Super Mario Odyssey, is now available for the Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review for the game here (we highly recommend it!).