In some tragic news, the WWE announced on Thursday that legendary ring announcer Howard Finkel passed away at the age of 69. For those unaware of his brilliance, his soothing and vibrant tones set the pacing of 1980s wrestling in the then WWE, then into the following decade.

So much so, in fact, he’s in the WWE Hall of Fame.

From the official WWE website:

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.

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Given how the WWE tends to treat its all-time greats whenever they pass, fully expect a tribute of some sort on the next televised event.

Nonetheless, for many kids who grew up worshipping the likes of Hulk Hogan, The Rockets, Macho Man Randy Savage and/or many others, Howard Finkel went hand-in-hand with each’s rise to fame.

We can do nothing but extend our thoughts to the Finkel family, as well as his extended brethren in the pro wrestling community.