If you weren’t aware of where Mario gets his name from, it’s time for a little history lesson.

Back in the 1980’s Nintendo rented a warehouse from real estate developer, Mario Segale. He probably didn’t realize it at the time, but soon his name would be used for one of the most iconic figures in the video game industry.

In 1981 Shigeru Miyamoto had developed Donkey Kong for the arcade. Originally the characters within the game were simply referred to as “Jumpman” and “Lady”. Nintendo decided these characters deserved proper names, so they looked at their landlord for inspiration and the character once known as “Jumpman” became “Mario”, and Lady became “Pauline” (Pauline’s name was chosen after the wife of a Nintendo employee.)


Mario Segale was 84 years old when he passed away, survived by his wife of 62 years, four grandchildren, and nine grandchildren. While Nintendo has yet to officially make any statements, it’s likely that a number of the company’s senior and former employees knew Segale personally when Nintendo first came to America to conquer the video game industry. It’s not clear if Mr. Segale was even truly aware that his name was a direct influence or if he ever held any interest in video games at all. Regardless, we have Mr. Segale to thank for making the name “Mario” a household name for gamers everywhere.

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