The inspiration behind the name of the popular video game character Super Mario has passed away at the age of 84.
Mario Segale was the inspiration behind the name of the character. He was a very successful Italian-American property developer from Washington. He was a son of a first-generation Italian immigrant farmer, who later became associated with one of the most popular video game characters in the world. After graduating from high school, he started his own construction company, with just a single truck, and then got married. Together with his wife, Donna, they worked very hard in order to develop their own asphalt and construction business. The company later grew into a big regional contractor, which was later sold and integrated into Oldcastle Materials.
During the 1980s, he was leasing one of his warehouses to Nintendo itself, in America, who then decided to name the main character of their new video game after him. The company was using one of his warehouses as their American headquarters, as they had just started expanding the company outside of the Japanese borders, after their smashing success. Nintendo admitted that it was this Mario Segale who was the original inspiration behind the characters name in 2015. But back in 1993, he jokingly told the Seattle Times that he was still waiting for all of his royalty cheques.
Before the creators met with Segale and came up with the name, the character, now known as Super Mario, was only called Jumpman. But these days, the character, and the game itself is even more popular than they were back in the 1980s and 1990s. In fact, Super Mario is now a household name, having sold over 500 million copies. These numbers mean that the game is the best-selling video game franchise in history.
READ MORE: 15 Cool Facts You Didn't Know About Nintendo
And as for Segale, Mario himself had never been very comfortable being solely known as the inspiration behind the character. Instead, during his entire life, he strived to be known for his accomplishments. And this goes all the way back to when Nintendo’s Minoru Arakawa, the person who was tasked with setting up the new offices of Nintendo in America, was renting the warehouse from Segale.
Segale leaves behind his wife Donna, with their four kids and nine grandkids. May he rest in peace.