WWE/WWF Hall of Famer ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund has passed away at the age of 76-years-old. Okerlund is considered by many to be the most recognizable announcer in wrestling history.
Okerlund, an interviewer, announcer, and occasional wrestler, was best known for his work with the WWE and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by fellow legend Hulk Hogan in 2006.
In a statement, the WWE said they were “saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Gene Okerlund, the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 76.”
Gene Okerlund Cause of Death: Unknown
While Okerlund’s cause of death is unknown at this time, he had a history of kidney transplants, undergoing the procedure in both 1995 and 2004.
Gene Okerlund Life & Career
Okerlund joined the WWE (then the WWF) in 1984, where he made a name for himself interviewing the likes of “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and more.
After a successful run with the WWF, Okerlund joined WCW as lead interviewer in 1993, interviewing the likes of Sting, Diamond Dallas Page, Goldberg and more. Okerlund eventually returned to the WWE in the year 2001, where he continued to appear on various WWE programs.
Okerlund was given the nickname ‘Mean Gene’ by legendary wrestler (and former Governor of Minnesota) Jesse Ventura because of Okerlund’s reputation as one of the friendliest people in the wrestling business.
Tributes to ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund
Following his passing, tributes to ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund have spread across the internet:
“So sad today to hear of the sudden passing of my dear friend Gene Okerlund. I just saw Mean Gene in North Carolina at WrestleCade. It’s so true that our tomorrow’s are never guaranteed. Say hello to Jan, Mean Gene,” tweeted follow announcing legend Jim Ross.
“A voice and soundtrack to an entire era of our industry. He was the star of some of WWE’s most memorable segments. “Mean Gene” was beloved by all who got to work with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time,” said Triple H — the Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative for the WWE — on Twitter.
“Just heard Mean Gene Okerlund has passed away. As an interviewer, pitch man, announcer, or host, he was untouchable. Simply the best. Total professional with quick wit, sarcasm, humor, and that golden voice. Condolences to his friends and family,” fellow Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin tweeted.