(Minneapolis, MN) – Minnesota native and WWE Hall of Famer Gene Okerlund has died at the age of 76.

The WWE confirmed his death in a press release Wednesday.

“Mean Gene,” a native of Robbinsdale, became recognizable as an interviewer in the American Wrestling Association.  In 1984, he made the switch to the WWE and become as recognizable as the wrestlers he interviewed – which during that era included “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, and Hulk Hogan.  But it was his fellow Minnesotan Jesse “The Body” Ventura who ultimately coined him as “Mean Gene.”

Okerlund was also an accomplished performer, having sung the National Anthem at the first WrestleMania in 1985.  He joined WCW in 1993, where he continued to interview wrestling legends, but returned to WWE in 2001 to call the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania 17.

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