“Mean” Gene Okerlund, one of the most recocnizable faces in WWE history, is dead at the age of 76.
It’s unclear when Okerlund died, but WWE just made the announcement that he passed away. They did not provide any details of a time, place or manner.
He did have two kidney replacements over the years, in 1995 and 2004, but had appeared to be in good health since then. A photo posted of Okerlund from November appeared to show him in good spirits.
— That Wrestling Club (@ThtWrestleClub) November 24, 2018
Hulk Hogan has already voiced his condolences for his longtime friend, tweeting, “Mean Gene, I love you my brother.”
“Mean Gene” was a staple in the WWE community, and was first given his name by Jesse “The Body” Ventura. He was known for his fun interviews with Hulk Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior.
Okerlund was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 and signed to a lifetime contract that allowed him to branch out into other WWE promotional programs and television.
Okerlund began his career as a disc jockey in Omaha, Nebraska. He later left the radio industry to pursue a career in wrestling, and joined up with the American Wrestling Association in 1970.
On March 31, 1985, Okerlund sang the National Anthem at the first-ever Wrestlemania. He later joined up with WCW, but then returned to WWE in 2001 and never left.
He last appeared on WWE Raw in January 2018 for the 25th Anniversary.