Mario Segale was not a plumber and carefully concealed his relationship with the game franchise.
Italian-American Mario Segale, after whom the world’s best-selling game Super Mario was named, died at the age of 84 in Washington state.
In the 1980s, Segale owned warehouses in the city of Tukwila, one of which was leased to the US office of Nintendo. At that time, Nintendo was developing the game Donkey Kong. The main character was the plumber Jumpman, who had to save the princess, who fell into the hands of a huge monkey. The temperamental Segale often went to the developer’s office and once even shouted at the president of the American headquarters of the company Minoru Arakawa with employees. At about the same time, Nintendo decided that instead of Jumpman, the character of the game should be given a real name. As a result, the main character Donkey Kong was renamed in honor of Mario. Later this character became famous thanks to the cult game Super Mario Bros.
It is noteworthy that Segale tried his best to hide his connection with the name of the game. He did not want to be remembered as the hero of the arcade–he considered himself a successful businessman and landowner. Only in one of the interviews, Mario admitted that the game was named in his honor, and said jokingly that he was not against receiving copyright royalties. But even without such deductions Segale and his family did not live in misery. In 1957, Mario founded the construction company, having only one truck. In 1998, Segale sold his business for $60 million.
The obituary of Mario Segale says that although he served as an inspiration for Nintendo, the main thing in his life was family and work.