Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

The Man Who Inspired Mario's Name Has Passed Away

The Man Who Inspired Mario's Name Has Passed Away

On October 27th, Mario Segale passed away at the age of 84. The long-running series has reportedly sold more than 500 million copies during its lifespan, making it the best-selling video game franchise of all time. Segale was not necessarily a part of the gaming industry. Because of his desire for privacy, few pictures of him exist online.

The character of "Super Mario" was originally to be called "Jumpman" before the tenants of Segale Business Park in Tukwila made a decision to honor their landlord with the moniker, the BBC reported.

It 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". He loved hunting, fishing, his airplane, and the Puget Sound. A 1993 Seattle Times article quotes him as joking, "You might say I'm still waiting for my royalty checks", seemingly the only on-the-record comment on his ancillary role in Nintendo's history. The lead character was simply called Jumpman; his girlfriend was Lady. The confrontation apparently led to Nintendo naming the character Mario after him.

The Mario character went on to become a franchise, appearing in dozens of games, from auto racing to tennis.

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Seagle always kept a low profile according to his obituary and that he wanted to be remembered for achievements.

As told by his family in the obituary, Segale was the only child of Italian immigrant farmers.

Seagle started his own construction company, Seagle Properties, with just one dump truck.

Segale leaves behind his wife of 62 years, Donna, four children and nine grandchildren. He was also a major political donor, particularly to the Democratic Party, as the Auburn Reporter notes.

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