Did you know that the hero of Nintendo’s “Super Mario Bros.” was originally called Jumpman? Yep, Nintendo only later named the lovable mustachioed hero Mario to give him a more everyday-sounding moniker.
Mario Segale, the man who inspired that name, died last week at the age of 84.
Mario Segale was born in 1934 in Seattle, according to an obituary posted on the website of Marlatt Funeral Home in Kent, Washington.
As told by his family in the obituary, Segale was the only child of Italian immigrant farmers. He started his own construction business soon after graduating from high school in 1952, and later began focusing on real estate and property development, establishing the Segale Business Park in the 1970s.
It was then that Segale leased warehouse space to the still young U.S. wing of Nintendo. He reportedly made such an impression on the video game company that the company decided to use his name for its hero, NPR reported.
However, according to his family, Segale was never looking to cash in on that.
“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 family writes.
Mario Segale is survived by his wife, Donna, their four children, and nine grandchildren.