The Italian American, Who ‘Super Mario’ Was Named After, Dies at 84

Self-made millionaire Mario Segale made such an impression on Nintendo that they named its hero after him.

Did you know the hero of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. was named after self-made Italian millionaire Mario Segale?

Originally called Jumpman, Nintendo changed up the name to give the mustachioed character a more relatable and wholesome feel.

Born in 1934 in Seattle, Segale was the only child of Italian immigrant farmers who started a construction business after graduating high school in 1952, The Huffington Post reports.

He then focused on real estate and property development, creating the Segale Business Park in the 1970s.

It was then Segale leased warehouse space to the U.S. division of Nintendo, which was just getting started.

He reportedly made such an impression on the video game company that Nintendo’s developers decided to use his name for its hero, NPR reports.

Preferring to remain behind the scenes, Segale never sought to cash in on the character, and remained focused on his businesses.

He passed away on Oct. 27 at the age of 84, and is survived by his wife, their four children and nine grandchildren, according to his obituary. 

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