At a time when Super Mario Odyssey has become the bestseller game on Nintendo Switch with over 12.17 million copies of the game sold, fans learnt of the tragic news regarding the man after whom the famous Italian plumber was named.

Mario Segale, a successful Italian-American property developer, has passed away at the age of 84. Segale was a famous businessman back in the 1970s in the US state of Washington, when he decided to lease one of his warehouses to Nintendo of America.

It is said that Segale leased his warehouse under very favourable leasing conditions which for Nintendo of America was very important at the time. You could even say that Minoru Arakawa, the founder and former president of Nintendo of America, felt the same way as a casino enthusiast feels when he gets a $300 in casino bonus money from Guts casino so he decided to repay the favour. That’s how the main character in the game got his name after the American with Italian roots.



The original name of Super Mario was Jumpman. And while it is obvious why the company had decided on choosing that name, they felt that the name didn’t really relate to customers in the way in which they wanted to, so they decided to change it.

The executive decision to name the character Super Mario was made by Minoru Arakawa and he was actually the man who told Segale of the decision. Mario Segale is thought to have been quite happy with the decision, but as the property developer was known to be super media shy it was really difficult to get much more from him while he was still alive.


Vision and Hard Work

Similarly to his much more famous namesake, Mario Segale worked hard to overcome life’s obstacles and to turn them into opportunity. His parents were both Italian immigrants who worked as farmers, so it is fair to say that he had humble beginnings.

However, he believed in himself, much like Super Mario did, and started his own construction company with only a single dump truck. This slowly grew into one of the biggest heavy construction businesses in the Northwest and soon he could provide for his family, but could help other employees provide for their families as well. He sold the company in 1998 and decided to focus on property development and real estate.


Waiting for Royalty

Back in 1993, when the Seattle Times approached to ask Segale about a comment regarding the fact that his name was the inspiration behind Nintendo’s best selling game and the success that came with it, he jokingly said that he was still waiting for his royalty checks.

If we were to be the inspiration for a character as famous as Super Mario, we would definitely ask for at least a few free spins on a slots machine on, and of course we wouldn’t be joking, but that’s how humble Mario Segale was.

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