The man the WWE calls "the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history" has died, and Deadspin says that's no exaggeration. Gene Okerlund, better known by the "Mean Gene" moniker bestowed on him by Jesse Ventura, was 76. No cause of death was given. The WWE reports he began his career with the American Wrestling Association, moved to the World Wrestling Federation (which became the WWE) in 1984, and later spent years with World Championship Wrestling.
Okerlund "was the primary interviewer for WWF when it began the pro wrestling boom in the 1980s," per Deadspin, and interviewed legends—as the WWE notes in a press release, "Countless Hulkster interviews included the indelible phrase, 'Well you know something "Mean" Gene!'" He also offered up ringside commentary and hosted shows like All-American Wrestling and Tuesday Night Titans. NBC News reports Okerlund was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 by Hulk Hogan, who tweeted a tribute Wednesday: "Mean Gene I love you my brother." (A former WWE star died this summer after a fall at home.)