WWE announced on their website that WWE Hall of Famer and long time ring announcer Howard Finkel has passed away at age 69.
Howard Finkel was the WWF/E’s first employee after having been hired in 1975 by Vince McMahon, Sr. for what was then known as the WWWF. Finkel debuted as a ring announcer at Madison Square Garden on January 17, 1977. By 1979, he had become the promotion’s lead ring announcer for their biggest events.
His distinctive voice was sometimes used in the opening title sequence for the WWE’s various television programs. Finkel’s main signature call was when he announced a new champion following a title change, in which he would put extra emphasis on the word “new.”
On behalf of the entire staff of Wrestleview, we send our condolences, thoughts, and prayers to the family of Howard Finkel during this difficult and sad time.
You can read the full announcment on the passing of Howard Finkel from WWE below:
WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel passes away
WWE is saddened to learn that Howard Finkel has passed away at age 69.
When considering the greatest ring announcers in the history of sports and sports-entertainment, you’d be hard-pressed to name one better than Howard Finkel. A native of Newark, NJ, “The Fink” — a label that had been attached affectionately to Howard over the years — made his ring announcing debut at Madison Square Garden in 1977 for WWE’s predecessor, WWWF.
By 1979, Finkel was the full-time ring announcer for WWWF, and when WWE was established in 1980, The Fink became the first — and eventually longest-serving — employee. Finkel’s distinctive voice was instantly recognizable, and for more than two decades Superstars such as The Ultimate Warrior, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and more would have a title victory marked by The Fink’s signature call, “and NNNEEEWWW World Champion!”
Despite being a ring announcer, Finkel didn’t shy away from in-ring competition in certain circumstances. In 1995, he battled his longtime rival Harvey Wippleman in a Tuxedo Match on Raw, and later helped X-Pac shave Jeff Jarrett’s head in a Hair vs. Hair Match at SummerSlam 1998.
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. The Fink was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 4, 2009.
WWE extends its condolences to Finkel’s family, friends and fans.