Howard Finkel, the legendary ring announcer for World Wrestling Entertainment, died at the age of 69, WWE announced Thursday.

Further details were not immediately available.

Known as “The Fink,” Finkel was probably known for the way in which he announced the crowning of a new champion by saying, “And new,” and drawing out the word “new.” For about 30 years, he was a fixture at the biggest moments in WWE history and was part of WrestleMania, the sport’s biggest event, from the start. He even is credited with coming up with the name, inspired by the Beatles’ American invasion.

“This was 1984,” he told Slam Wrestling in 2014, “so I said 20 years ago four guys from Liverpool came across the shores to the United States and made a phenomenal impression on everybody. They called that Beatlemania. So I said: ‘There was Beatlemania. Why can’t there be WrestleMania?’ ”

After he stopped being a full-time announcer, he announced each year’s Hall of Fame inductees at WrestleMania until 2017.

“In what has already been a tough week for our @WWE family, today we lost our first ever employee and WWE Hall of Famer, @howardfinkel,” WWE’s Stephanie McMahon tweeted, alluding to WWE layoffs and WWE CEO Vince McMahon’s decision to shut down the XFL he founded. “Howard’s voice is iconic & recognized by generations of fans. He will be missed. #RIPHowardFinkel Thank you for everything.”

A Newark native, Finkel made his debut as a ring announcer for the World Wide Wrestling Federation, a previous WWE incarnation, in 1977 and became a full-time announcer in 1979. In the early 2000s, he moved into a part-time announcing position and worked behind the scenes for WWE. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.

Finkel wrestled several times, beating manager Harvey Wippleman in a Tuxedo Match on “Raw” in 1995 and losing to announcer Tony Chimel in a Tuxedo Match on “SmackDown” in 1999 and losing to announcer Lilian Garcia in an Evening Gown vs. Tuxedo Match on “Raw” in 2002.

He also had a role on the WWE Network’s 2014 show, “Legends’ House,” along with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “Mean” Gene Okerlund and Jimmy Hart.

“Howard Finkle [sic] was on Team Hogan through the good and bad times,” Hulk Hogan tweeted. “[E]ven when I was on the outs Howard would call on a consistent basis to tell me to always keep my head up, it was ‘never say never’ and ‘you and Vince [McMahon] will work it out.’, my good friend RIP, I love you 4LifeHH”

Tommy Dreamer tweeted that he was “crushed” by Finkel’s death. “I lost my friend today I saw him once a month The Voice of Wrestling. I loved him so much.”

Triple H noted that “You weren’t someone until you heard Howard announce you. A championship win didn’t feel real until you heard him say ‘and the new!’ His voice, his personality, and his positivity will be sorely missed. Thank you for everything … especially your friendship.”

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