Mario Segale

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“So what does Segale think of his name being used for a game that has sold more than 100 million copies and made Nintendo one of the world’s most profitable companies, not to mention the Super Mario Bros. movie just released?
"You might say I’m still waiting for my royalty checks," [Segale] quips.”
The Seattle Times[1]
Mario Segale
Mario Segale
Born April 30, 1934
Died October 27, 2018 (aged 85)
Super Mario–related role(s) Real estate developer, namesake for Mario.

Mario Arnold Segale was an American real-estate developer of retail malls and office buildings and landlord based in Seattle, Washington. Born to Italian immigrants, he was the owner of the M.A. Segale construction company and was responsible for projects in the South King Country. Segale was known for being the namesake for Mario. According to a widely shared anecdote by Nintendo staff, the Nintendo of America staff, during a meeting in a warehouse, encountered an exasperated Segale who berated them for overdue rent, and they decided to name Jumpman (which the Mario character was initially called) due to his physical similarities and his reputation for being kind and charitable,[2] but also rambunctious when angered. The story was widely shared in the book Game Over, but Segale's last name was mispelled as "Segali", which was thought to be his spelling for years. The story was later confirmed by Nintendo through the 2015 video Mario Myths with Mr Miyamoto.

Despite the notoriety, he was known to be proud of the association and happily shared his amusing anecdote with his grandchildren and his close friends.[3] There is little information about Segale, however, as he kept a low profile throughout his life, and few photographs of him exist.

Segale passed away in his home in Tukwila, Washington in October 2018 at age 85.[2] According to his obituary,[4] he wanted to be known for his life accomplishments, and according to his acquaintances, he was said to be reluctant to be associated with the Super Mario character due to the risk of it interfering with his brand.[3]


  • Segale was a duck hunting hobbyist[3] and his favorite color was red.[4]


  1. ^ The Seattle Times. (June 17, 1993). "Waiting On Royalty". Accessed March 20, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Whale, R. (October 31, 2018). "Mario ‘the visionary’ leaves his legacy". Auburn Reporter. Accessed March 20, 2023. Cited by Chappell, B. (November 2, 2018). "Mario Segale, Inspiration For Nintendo's Hero Plumber, Has Died". NPR.
  3. ^ a b c Comment by "Aquaintance of Mario S." (July 1, 2014). From "The True Face of Mario". Technologizer. Accessed March 20, 2023. Cited by Chappell, B. (November 2, 2018). "Mario Segale, Inspiration For Nintendo's Hero Plumber, Has Died". NPR.
  4. ^ a b "Mario Segale Obituary" [1]. Legacy. Accessed March 20, 2023