Wrestling stars interviewer 'Mean Gene' Okerlund dies

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) 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.

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.