Mario’s Namesake Has Passed Away

Mario Segale Dead at 84

Mario Segale passed away this week at the age of 84. If you’re not sure who on Earth Segale was, he served as the alleged inspiration for Mario, the Nintendo icon who’s now more famous than Mickey Mouse. I say alleged only because no two members of the company can agree on how this naming business went down.

Mario Segale

Segale owned the buildings where Nintendo were storing all their arcade machines back in the early 80’s. It seems then-President Minoru Arakawa was introduced to the man after he showed up demanding a late rent payment. David Sheff has this meeting serving as the inspiration for the name Super Mario. Other stories contradict this report, however.

Benj Edwards discovered that the ‘Super’ part of his name wasn’t used until 1985, while the meeting in question took place in 1981. Some stories say the ‘Super’ part came from Segale’s role as superintendent. Even Miyamoto was sure this warehouse was in New York, with the actual location being somewhere in Seattle. Regardless, Segale was a hardworking man who wanted to be remembered for his actual accomplishments (like building a respectable business from the ground up), as opposed to his minor role in video game history.