Mario Segale, the American businessman after whom Super Mario is named, passed away on October 27th. Segale leased a property to Nintendo in the early 1980s. He died in his hometown of Tukwila in Washington state
The local newspaper, The Auburn Reporter reports that Segale died in the presence of his family. He started his career in 1952 with the founding of a construction company and later bought up real estate in Tukwila. He leased one of the properties to Nintendo. When the developer did not pay the rent on time, he was given deferment from Segale. As a token of gratitude, Nintendo renamed the character Jumpman to Mario. Nintendo already wanted to change the name, because it did not think Jumpman was catchy enough.
According to Segale, former board chairman Minoru Arakawa had informed him of the mention. In his death certificate states that he ‘liked to avoid attention and that he wanted his own achievements to be remembered’. The name Super Mario first appeared in Donkey Kong. The arcade version of that game appeared in the United States on July 31, 1981.