WWE legendary Hall of Fame Howard Finkel dies at 69 debuted as a ring announcer in 1977 and became a full-time announcer in 1979.
The wrestling company confirmed the sad news Thursday and extended their condolences to the star’s family and friends.
Several fans fear Finkel may have succumbed to COVID-19, but a cause of death has not yet been announced.
Ringside reports that the star announcer was in poor health after suffering a stroke in early 2019.
Finkel, better known as ‘The Fink’, was regarded as one of the greatest ring announcers in WWE history.
He made his debut at the company in 1977, before going on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
Finkel even stepped in between the ropes for the occasional match, including facing rival Harvey Wippleman in a Tuxedo Match on ‘Raw’ in 1995.
Three years later, he helped X-Pac shave Jeff Jarrett’s head after a Hair vs. Hair bout at ‘Summerslam’.
In their statement announcing his death, WWE added: ‘In addition to his legendary tenure as a ring announcer, The Fink was an indispensable resource inside the WWE offices for his vast knowledge of sports-entertainment history.
‘Well respected by current Superstars, WWE Legends and Hall of Famers, Finkel’s encyclopedic memory and kindness made him beloved among his colleagues.’
Many of his colleagues and fans have already paid tribute including WWE boss Stephanie McMahon, who praised his ‘iconic’ voice.
She tweeted: ‘In what has already been a tough week for our @WWE family, today we lost our 1st ever employee and WWE Hall of Famer, @howardfinkel.
‘Howard’s voice is iconic & recognized by generations of fans. He will be missed.
‘#RIPHowardFinkel Thank you for everything.’
Rival promotion IMPACT Wrestling also took to social media to remember one of the greats.
The company’s official Twitter account posted: ‘IMPACT Wrestling is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Howard Finkel. We send our condolences to his friends and family.’
Finkel is survived by his wife, Cathie, and his adult child. The New Jersey native was a resident of Stamford, Connecticut.