There is debate over who first called Gene Okerlund "Mean Gene." While it is not the most clever moniker, it stuck, no matter who first coined the name.
I first saw Okerlund as a backstage interviewer on WWF television in the mid-80s. At the time, I did not know of his lengthy career prior to that. He actually started back in 1970. He had a great run in the midwest's American Wrestling Association. When Vince McMahon took the WWF nationwide, he gobbled up talent from all other companies, including Okerlund.
I had the pleasure of meeting him several times. He even did a promo for my site, which is in the left column. Even funnier were the outtakes, but I could not make those public. There was nothing bad, just some stories and language better left to my memories. He was quite a character.
He passed away four years ago today, but his legacy is forever. Mean Gene was one of a kine.
Gene Okerlund and me in Schaumburg, IL-November 2018.