mario segale

Mario is one of the most popular and one of the most recognizable video game characters in the world. But not many know about the origin behind the name ‘Mario’. During the 80s Nintendo had set up its headquarters outside Seattle and the owner of the office was Mario Segale, whose name was used as the main character for the signature series. Segale, who inspired that name passed away last week at the age of 84.

Mario had then made quite an impression when he came in demanding the overdue rent payment. Till that point Nintendo’s character was known as Jumpman, which means that the name Mario was quite an improvement. The character had made its first appearance in the arcade game Mario Bros in the year 1983 and then appeared in NES, Super Mario Bros in 1985.

Even Mario was born in Seattle, Washington in 1934 and ran several construction and real estate companies and was known as a multi-faceted businessman. The family of Mario stated that he was never greedy for fame and publicity for his involvement in the Mario series and often opted to keep a low profile and be remembered for his entrepreneurial accomplishments instead. He was only publicly acknowledged for his name being used in the Nintendo Series during an interview in 1993 for the Seattle Times. Mario had then joked, “You might say I’m still waiting for my royalty checks.”

Segale is survived by nine grandchildren, four children and his wife Donna. Not many people know about the actual name behind the game character. The obituary by his family mentioned that he was the only child of Italian immigrant farmers. He started his construction business soon after graduating from high school in 1952. Later Mario Segale focused on real estate and property development while establishing the Segale Business Park during the 70s.

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Photo Credits: Newsweek