NEWARK, N.J. – Howard Finkel, a longtime ring announcer with the WWE, has died at the age of 69, the wrestling organization announced Thursday.
The WWE says “The Fink” was considered one of the greatest ring announcers in the history of sports and sports-entertainment.
Finkel, a native of Newark, New Jersey, made his ring announcing debut at Madison Square Garden in 1977 for the WWWF, according to the WWE.
When the WWE was established, the organization says Finkel became its first employee and eventually its longest-serving worker.
The announcer, and occasional competitor, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.
Several WWE figures have taken to social media to mourn Finkel’s death:
Howard Finkle was on Team Hogan through the good and bad times,even when I was on the outs Howard would call on a consistent basis to tell me to always keep my head up,it was” never say never” and “you and Vince will work it out”,my good friend RIP,I love you 4LifeHH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) April 16, 2020
I lost my friend today
I saw him once a month
The Voice of Wrestling
I loved him so much
The Fink pic.twitter.com/EOWmADTkjO
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) April 16, 2020
HE PUT ME OVER. HE MAKE ME LOOK LIKE THE LEGEND. HE MAKE ME SMILE. FOREVER I LOVE YOU HOWARD FINKEL pic.twitter.com/cY8tTHDqds
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) April 16, 2020
You weren’t someone until you heard Howard announce you. A championship win didn’t feel real until you heard him say “and the new!” His voice, his personality, and his positivity will be sorely missed. Thank you for everything...especially your friendship. https://t.co/CYSPt6vnvU
— Triple H (@TripleH) April 16, 2020