The longtime wrestling interviewer was mourned by the likes of Hulk Hogan and Triple H on social media Wednesday
On Wednesday, the WWE announced on its website that longtime wrestling personality Gene Okerlund had died at the age of 76. The organization declined to reveal how or when Okerlund had died, but said, “WWE extends its condolences to Okerlund’s family, friends and fans.”
Okerlund, who was nicknamed “Mean Gene” by wrestler-turned-Minnesota-governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura, started out his broadcasting career by interviewing the stars of the Minnesota-based American Wrestling Association in the ’80s before moving to the World Wrestling Federation (later renamed WWE) in 1984.
In addition to interviews with wrestlers like Ventura, Hulk Hogan, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Okerlund displayed his talents in other areas. He was also a ringside commentator and an occasional musician. He sang the national anthem at the first WrestleMania in 1985, and even contributed a cover of “Tutti Frutti” to WWE’s The Wrestling Album that same year.
After news broke of Okerlund’s death, wrestlers from Hogan to the Iron Sheik tweeted out their condolences and memories. Triple H called him “A voice and soundtrack to an entire era of our industry.”