The man who the famous Nintendo character ‘Super Mario’ was named after has died at the age of 84 in Washington.
Mario Arnold Segale passed away while surrounded by his family on Saturday in Seattle.
‘While he was the inspiration for the name of Nintendo’s “Super Mario” from when they were tenants in his business park in the 1970s, he always ducked the notoriety and wanted to be known instead for what he accomplished in his life,’ his obituary read.
The character of ‘Super Mario’ was originally to be called ‘Jumpman’ before the tenants of Segale Business Park in Tukwila decided to honor their landlord with the moniker, the BBC reported.
Segale joked that he was ‘still waiting for [his] royalty checks’ in an interview with the Seattle Times in 1993.
As the only son of first generation Italian immigrant farmers, Louis and Rina Segale, the husband and father-of-four was an innovator in the construction industry.
‘His passion was figuring out how to do things in new and better ways, which often included drawing things on the backs of napkins and placemats,’ his obituary read.
Segale started his own construction company with just a single dump truck in the early 1950s, before marrying his wife, Donna, in 1957.
Later, he continued his parents’ property investment strategy to become a successful Italian-American real estate developer.
It was that move that earned him everlasting, albeit quiet, notoriety, after Nintendo took up residence in one of his warehouses in the 1970s.
Minoru Arakawa, the person in charge of getting Nintendo of America up and running, delivered the news to Segale that he had inspired the name of their most popular character.
The decision to transition into commercial real estate proved to be so lucrative for Segale that even without royalty checks from Nintendo, he was able to sell his heavy construction contracting business, M.A. Segale, Inc., in 1998 and focus entirely on his property holdings.
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Source: Daily Mail