Howard Finkel, Legendary WWE Ring Announcer, Dies at 69

Howard Finkel -25th Anniversary of WrestleMania's WWE Hall of Fame 2009 - Getty-H 2020
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"The Fink" had a booming ringside voice and microphone to introduce TV wrestling greats like Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Howard "The Fink" Finkel, the WWE's first and longest-lasting employee and an iconic ring announcer, has died. He was 69.

"WWE is saddened to learn that Howard Finkel has passed away at age 69. WWE extends its condolences to Finkel’s family, friends and fans," the company behind live wrestling matches on USA and Fox said Thursday in a statement.

No cause of death was given, but Finkel reportedly suffered a serious stroke in 2018 and had been in ill health.

Born on June 7, 1950, in Newark, New Jersey, Finkel debuted as a ring announcer at Madison Square Garden in 1977 before being hired by the WWF, the predecessor to the WWE, on April 1, 1980.

He went on to become the main ring announcer for the WWE when Vince McMahon Jr. took over the WWF and turned it into a national TV wrestling promotion. Finkel also served as the Madison Square Garden announcer on MSG Cablevision/USA Network broadcasts.

Finkel's booming voice routinely introduced TV wrestling icons like The Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania events through 2016.

He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.