WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Gene Okerlund, the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 76. https://t.co/DyPiEiVLoV— WWE (@WWE) January 2, 2019
Okerlund was the premier voice of WWE programming back in the 1980s, known for his charismatic interview skills and colorful personality. A two-time Slammy winner, "Mean Gene" was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016.
"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 1984, Okerlund made the move to WWE where he became a staple on national cable television by continuing to interview the biggest names in sports-entertainment like Hogan, 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and many more."
In 1993, Okerlund went to WCW where he stayed until WWE bought them in 2001. Gene returned to WWE to commentate the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-Seven. He continued to be a part of WWE programming, appearing on the WWE Network show Legends' House in 2014. The last appearance for Okerlund on WWE programming was during the 25th Anniversary of RAW, where he interviewed A.J. Styles.
Jordan Logan contributed to this article.