Iconic WWE Ring Announcer Howard Finkel Passes Away at 69
Long-time WWE ring announcer Howard Finkel has passed away at 69. The Hall of Famer’s cause of death is not immediately known, but his health has been deteriorating in recent years, and he most recently suffered a stroke in 2019. The longest-tenured employee in company history wore many hats throughout his career, which began in 1975 when he worked for Vince McMahon Sr. before his son took over the company and aimed for national and then global expansion.
“The Fink” was there for some of the biggest events in history including the very first WrestleMania. He announced the arrival of everyone from Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. The way his voice boomed as he announced another attendance record or welcomed a sold-out Madison Square Garden or a new champion, Finkel became an important fixture at events.
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. ❤️🙏❤️
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) April 16, 2020
Fink was not only an indelible part of my childhood but he couldn’t have been sweeter to me any time I saw him backstage. I’m grateful to have known him.
— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) April 16, 2020
Another reason for his longevity is his willingness to participate in whatever WWE threw at him. He once wrestled in a tuxedo match on Raw that left him in his underwear in front of a global audience. Who could forget when Hair Club for Men president Sy Spering introduced Finkel as his newest client? Even when the loyal soldier was trying to be bad or a heel or whatever outfit he had on beyond his usual tux, one couldn’t help but keep a straight face.
When Chris Jericho first came to WWE, Finkel was by his side. Then there was the time he got beat up by Lilian Garcia in an evening gown/tuxedo match. He knew how to bring smiles to people’s faces, which is a WWE mantra.
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Newer fans got to know Finkel during his time as a cast member on Legends’ House on WWE Network and his appearances on The Edge and Christian Show. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009. His last ring announcing appearance was introducing The Undertaker during the 25th anniversary of Raw more than two years ago. His legacy lives on through the WWE Network. Finkel was able to attend a show last year and catch up with friends old and new. His voice can still be heard as he lends his voice to the introduction of The Miz and John Morrison’s segment The Dirt Sheet.