WWE Hall of Famer ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund dead at 76

Gene Okerlund

Gene Okerlund

"Mean" Gene Okerlund, the legendary pro wrestling interviewer, died at the age of 76.

Okerlund was beloved by fans and his colleagues, and professional wrestlers paid tribute to Mean Gene on social media Wednesday.

A 2006 inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, Okerlund returned to the company in 2001 and remained an ambassador and occasional WWE Network host until his death.

Okerlund is survived by his wife, Jeanne, and two adult sons. He also sang a cover of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" on WWF's 1985 "The Wrestling Album".

Mean Gene was involved in some WWE's most famous moments, even singing the USA national anthem at the very first WrestleMania.

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"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", WWE said in a statement. In fact, he served as the best man at The Iron Sheik's wedding! "He was the star of some of @WWE's most memorable segments", WWE Executive Vice President Paul Levesque, who goes by the name Triple H, wrote in a tweet. Simply the best. Total professional with quick wit, sarcasm, humor, and that golden voice.

Past and present wrestling superstars have shared their thoughts and condolences about the "voice and sound track to an entire era". "Our thoughts are with his family at this hard time".

Florida Man tweeted: "Mean Gene was the voice of millions of childhoods. Condolences to his friends and family".

"Mean Gene I love you my brother", Hogan wrote. I'm fortunate to have met and shared a beverage with him.

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