Inspiration behind Mario dies at 84

It’s a me: Inspiration behind the iconic character, Mario of Nintendo, dies at the age of 84. Mario Segale was a self-taught business man with many accomplishments.

Mario Segale, the inspiration behind the iconic Nintendo character Super Mario, dies at the age of 84.

Segale’s obituary states that he was born in 1934 in Seattle, Washington to Italian immigrant farmers. He is known for his incredible determination and becoming a self-taught businessman.

After his high school graduation from Highline High School in 1952, he began his first construction company.

From this construction company, he started M.A. Segale Inc., which became a main construction general contractor in the Northwest region of the United States.

According to Gizmodo, Segale sold M.A. Segale Inc. 45 years after launching the company for $60 million.

He sold the company because he wanted to focus on the real estate under his family’s ownership of Segale Properties.

Since Segale managed a variety of commercial properties in the Seattle area, he had to become involved in a lot of businesses.

“In 1981, Segale was renting a Tukwila warehouse to Nintendo of America. Shigeru Miyamoto had created the Mario character for his game ‘Donkey Kong,’ but was calling him Jumpman and his girlfriend Lady. 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,” Kotaku said.


One instance occurred where Segale was visiting the Tukwila warehouse that he was renting out to inform the president that he had not paid rent.

President Minoru Arakawa reportedly knew that Mario was the name of his new Italian plumber character following this interaction.

The Mario franchise exploded and is still popular today, however, Segale did not appreciate the fame that came along with this.

He wanted to be known for his hard work in his company rather than his correlation with the short plumber.

Segale did accomplish many things in his life. He was extremely successful with his businesses but was known to be a very private man with a lot of hobbies.

According to his obituary, when he was not working he enjoyed hunting, fishing, piloting his airplane and a good joke.

Throughout his life, he brought a lot of happiness to his wife, Donna, and his four children, Lisa, Mark, Tina and Nita. He passed away with nine grandchildren and a loving family.

Most importantly to him, he left behind a legacy for the following generations of his family.

Unfortunately, the inspiration behind the iconic Nintendo character passed away at a local hospital Oct. 27, 2018. His cause of death has not been specified, but many are assuming it was from old age.

“I grew up on the Nintendo DS and I loved playing ‘Super Mario Bro’s,’ so that was a part of my life. I feel like that part of me is grieving because that’s a part of my childhood,” said Justine Fantroy, Washburn mass media student. 

The current generation of college students grew up with the influence of the Mario franchise. For many it is difficult to deal with the death of such an iconic character.