Technology

Mario Segale, Seattle-area real estate developer who inspired Nintendo's Super ...


In his book “Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered the World,” David Sheff wrote that a small company team had gathered in the warehouse one day and was struggling to come up with American names for the characters in the arcade game “Donkey Kong.” They were stuck on the character of a squat carpenter wearing a red cap when there was a knock on the door.


Super Mario had only a supporting role in “Donkey Kong,” but by the 1990s he had become Nintendo’s beloved mascot and the star of one of the most popular video-game franchises to date.


In a video published by Nintendo in 2015, game designer Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed with a simple nod that Mr. Segale had inspired Mario’s name.


Mr. Segale also continued his parents’ practice of buying land around Tukwila, and he established a business park there in the early 1970s.


Along with his son, Mr. Segale is survived by his wife, Donna, whom he married in 1957; three daughters, Lisa Atkins, Tina Covey and Nita Johnson; and nine grandchildren.


His obituary acknowledged that Mr. Segale had been the inspiration for the name Super Mario but that he had “always ducked the notoriety and wanted to be known instead for what he accomplished in his life.”






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