Mario Segale, namesake of Nintendo's popular mascot, dies at 84

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Mario Segale, the American businessman and real estate developer for which Nintendo’s beloved mascot was named after, has died. He was 84 years old.

Mario was created by Shigeru Miyamoto as the playable character in Donkey Kong. According to record, the character – who went unnamed in the Japanese release – was originally called Mr. Video but had his name changed to Jumpman.

As the story goes, Nintendo of America rented a warehouse from Mario Segale in the early 1980s. When Nintendo was late on a rent payment, Segale confront then-president Minoru Arakawa. The confrontation apparently led to Nintendo naming the character Mario after him. Some retellings even suggest the “Super” in Super Mario was a nod to Segale’s role as the superintendent of the building (super is another word for a caretaker of a building).

Miyamoto in 2015 confirmed that Mario was indeed named after the former warehouse landlord.

Had Mario appeared as Jumpman or worse, Mr. Video, he probably never would have become the face of Nintendo.

Segale died on October 27. His obituary in The Seattle Times notes that he always ducked the notoriety associated with Nintendo’s mascot because he wanted to be known instead for what he accomplished in life.

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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
"His obituary in The Seattle Times notes that he always ducked the notoriety associated with Nintendo’s mascot because he wanted to be known instead for what he accomplished in life."

What DID he accomplish in his life? Maybe some of those accomplishments (if any) could have found their way into this article... especially as that would have been what he wished.

And yes, I know his obituary was linked in the article.... not the same thing!
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Never the less, it makes for a great future bit of trivia although I'm not sure how they came up that Mario was an Itallian plumber ...... LOL
 

ET3D

TechSpot Paladin
Never the less, it makes for a great future bit of trivia although I'm not sure how they came up that Mario was an Itallian plumber ...... LOL
Wikipedia says: "Since Donkey Kong was set on a construction site, Mario was made into a carpenter. When he appeared again in Mario Bros., it was decided he should be a plumber, since a lot of the game is played in underground settings." And then goes on to add some other speculations. But that's what Miyamoto said.

But perhaps they just wanted to insult Mario Segale, who after all berated the management for being late on payment in front of the workers. So from an owner of a construction company and landlord he was demoted to carpenter/plumber.