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Sports entertainment icon Okerlund dies at 76

Gene Okerlund was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.

Eugene "Mean Gene" Okerlund, who interviewed pro wrestling superstars "Macho Man" Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan and became a ring fixture in his own right, has died. He was 76. Okerlund's son Tor said his father, who had gone through three kidney transplants, fell a few weeks ago and never fully recovered.

World Wrestling Entertainment announced Okerlund's death on its website Wednesday. No details were given, but Okerlund's daughter-in-law, Patricia Okerlund, confirmed his death to The Washington Post. A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Eugene Okerlund in Osprey, Florida, declined comment and referred questions to WWE.

Okerlund started as an interviewer in the Minneapolis-based American Wrestling Association. He moved to WWE in 1984 and hosted several shows, including "All-American Wrestling," "Tuesday Night Titans" and "Prime Time Wrestling."

Former wrestler and ex-Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura dubbed Okerlund "Mean Gene."

A native of Sisseton, South Dakota, Okerlund was known for his natty attire and mustache. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.

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