'The real Super Mario' dies aged 84

Joanna Estrada
November 3, 2018

The man who inspired the iconic Nintendo character Super Mario has died aged 84.

As for how his name and Italian heritage helped give life to Mario, Segale was said to have made an impression on his tenants when he allegedly stormed into Nintendo's offices in Tukwila, Wash., demanding they catch up on late rent. As Kotaku reports, "Nintendo wanted proper names for the characters, so they named the hero after their landlord and the lady Pauline after a Nintendo of America employee's wife".

Segale played down his connection to the Mario franchise for fear it would harm his business ventures which were pretty substantial.

The only time he is understood to have spoken about the character is in an interview in 1993 in the Seattle Times.

The Mario video game has been said to be the most successful video games franchise ever and the latest adventure, Super Mario Odyssey, is now the best-selling game on the new Nintendo console, selling more than 12 million copies. As gaming historian Benj Edwards noted in 2010, a close associate of Segale's confirmed that he wasn't very tall, and wore suspenders rather than overalls. The character who shares his name continues to be a major force across the games industry - his latest outing, Super Mario Odyssey, has sold more than 12 million copies since its release in October previous year.

It has sold more than 12million copies.

The 84-year-old died surrounded by friends and family on October 27.

Seagle always kept a low profile according to his obituary and that he wanted to be remembered for achievements.

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.

Segale started his own construction company with just a single dump truck in the early 1950s, before marrying his wife, Donna, in 1957.

He sold his company in 1998 for £46.21million ($60million).

This story originally appeared in The Sun.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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