Okerlund started his career as a reporter for the AWA, where he first crossed paths with Ventura and other up-and-comers like Hulk Hogan. In 1984, Okerlund started his career with the WWE (which, as you'll likely remember, was still called the WWF at the time).
Okerlund worked with the WCW for eight years, but returned to the WWE in 2001 where he stayed for the rest of his career. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
Read some tributes to Okerlund below.
Mean Gene I love you my brother HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 2, 2019
Just heard Mean Gene Okerlund has passed away. As an interviewer, pitch man, announcer, or host, he was untouchable. Simply the best. Total professional with quick wit, sarcasm, humor, and that golden voice.— Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) January 2, 2019
Condolences to his friends and family.
RIP MY BROTHER GENE MEAN. YOU PUT ME OVER LIKE NOBODY. I LOVE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY SINCE THE MINNESOTA. GIVE MY BROTHER NIKOLAI BUG HUG. GOD BLESS YOU. CAMERA MAN ZOOM IT. pic.twitter.com/5k0VRXbKMI— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) January 2, 2019
A voice and sound track to an entire era of our industry. He was the star of some of @WWE's most memorable segments. "Mean Gene" was beloved by all who got to work with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. https://t.co/9ddj6372eE— Triple H (@TripleH) January 2, 2019
So sad to hear of the passing of one of the greatest voices in wrestling. Mean Gene you will be missed and we will continue to love you. What a true class act. I am very fortunate to work with you.— Charles Robinson (@WWERobinson) January 2, 2019