Remembering the Man Behind Nintendo’s “Super Mario”

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR NINTENDO - Mario and Luigi take the field at Sun Life Stadium before the face-off between Florida State and University of Miami on Nov. 15, 2014. The two video game icons were in town to show football fans Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and the forthcoming Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Nintendo of America is bringing these all-star brawling games to college campuses across the country this fall as a part of the College Tailgate Tour.(Photo By Jeff Daly/Invision for Nintendo/AP)

Say it isn’t so.

The man who inspired the creation of one of Nintendo’s most recognizable video game characters, has died at age 84.

At one time, Mario Arnold Segale owned the Washington business park that was home to Nintendo of America’s arcade operations.

Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of popular game Super Mario Bros., says that Segale inspired the naming of the flagship character of the “Super Mario” game series.

Segale’s obituary reads, “While he was the inspiration for the name of Nintendo’s ‘Super Mario’ from when they were tenants in his business park in the 1970’s, he always ducked the notoriety and wanted to be known instead for what he accomplished in his life.”

The Mario character was originally named “Jumpman” when it first appeared in the game Donkey Kong in 1981.

Segale once jokingly told The Seattle Times, “I’m still waiting for my royalty checks.”

R.I.P., Mr. Segale. Thanks for all the fun.

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