Legendary ring announcer Howard Finkel passed away earlier today, WWE has confirmed. He was 69-years-old.
The company announced the news on their website, in which they wrote the following statement: "WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel has passed away at age 69."
The Fink worked as the full time ring announcer in WWE for over 25 years as he started working for the company when it was known as the WWWF in 1975. He became WWE's first employee when the company was rebranded as WWF in 1980. His calls inside the squared circle became synonymous with many wrestling fan's childhoods as he introduced stars like The Ultimate Warrior, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper to the ring. His work was ultimately recognised in 2009 when he was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame.
While primarily a ring announcer, Finkel would sometimes get involved in storylines in the company like when he helped X-Pac shave Jeff Jarrett's head in a Hair Vs. Hair match at SummerSlam 1998 or in August 2002 when he began a feud with Lillian Garcia over the lead announcer role on Monday Night Raw.
After 2000, The Fink took on a lighter schedule but he continued to provide fans with memories that will last forever, announcing for CM Punk ahead of his WWE Championship match with Alberto Del Rio at Survivor Series 2011.