Mario Segale, a U.S. real estate developer who became the namesake for the main character in the globally popular Japanese video game series Super Mario, has died, according to U.S. media. He was 84.
(Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto speaks during an Apple Inc. event in 2016) [Getty/Kyodo]
Segale, who was born in Seattle in 1934, ran construction and real estate firms in the suburbs of the city in Washington state. He rented a warehouse to the U.S. unit of Nintendo Co. around 1980 when the Kyoto-based game maker expanded its business in the United States.
Nintendo first called the video game character wearing a red hat and overalls "Jumpman." But Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the Mario character who serves as a Nintendo fellow, said in a video released by Nintendo U.K. that the company renamed the character after the landlord.
The character Mario made his debut in the Donkey Kong arcade game in 1981, and shot to international fame with the appearance in the Super Mario Bros series, whose first title went on sale in 1985.
Segale died at a hospital on Oct. 27 and the cause of his death is unknown, according to the U.S. reports.