Longtime professional wrestling ringside broadcaster "Mean Gene" Okerlund has died.
"WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Gene Okerlund, the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 76," a release from the WWE says.
An alumni of Robbinsdale High School in the Twin Cities, Mean Gene hosted wrestling staples over the years like "All-American Wrestling," "Tuesday Night Titans," "Wrestling Challenge" and "Prime Time Wrestling," all while providing commentary and interviews for WCW, AWA, WWF, WWE and more.
More from the WWE on how Okerlund got his nickname:
"In his early days, “Mean Gene”, as he was named by fellow Minnesotan, Jesse “The Body” Ventura first came to prominence by interviewing the greatest stars of the AWA, including Ventura, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Hulk Hogan. In 1984, Okerlund made the move to WWE where he became a staple on national cable television by continuing to interview the biggest names in sports-entertainment like Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and many more."
Okerlund's son, Todd, played for the University of Minnesota men's hockey team from 1983-87 and went on to play for the U.S. national team in the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, in addition to a short stint in the NHL with the New York Islanders.
WWE stars have been honoring Mean Gene with messages on Twitter.