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