Famed wrestling personality ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund dead at 76


Legendary wrestling interviewer Gene Okerlund has passed away at age 76.

In addition to interviews with wrestlers like Ventura, Hulk Hogan, and "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Okerlund displayed his talents in other areas.

Besides being the company's lead locker room interviewer, he also provided ringside commentary, and with his call-card natty attire and moustache, became affectionally known as "Mean Gene" Okerlund. He earned his "Mean Gene" nickname thanks to fellow Minnesotan, Jesse "The Body" Ventura.

Eugene Arthur Okerlund was born December 19, 1942, in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, and grew up on the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

When someone beloved from your childhood passes away the tendency is to wax lyrical about the recently departed in a manner full of superlatives while completely lacking balance.

Okerlund's cause of death was not immediately revealed.

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Completely comfortable in any role, Okerlund was omnipresent at every WWF show, including Prime Time Wrestling, Tuesday Night Titans, and every major PPV. Condolences to his friends and family.

Now a veteran behind the microphone, Okerlund was one of the many stars to move to the World Wrestling Federation in the mid-1980s, where he quickly became the company's top backstage interviewer.

Okerlund started as a radio DJ back in Nebraska before taking a job with the American Wrestling Association in 1970.

"Mean Gene I love you my brother", Hogan wrote.

He debuted singing talent in the middle of his career when he sang the national anthem in 1985 at the first Wrestlemania, an annual star-studded wrestling competition.

"I have a tremendous amount of gratitude to those who enjoyed my work", Okerlund told Sports Illustrated in 2017.