Howard Finkel was as integral to professional wrestling as Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold Steve Austin. That may be a bit controversial to say, but it's true.
The Fink's legendary voice is synonymous with the phrase "And NEWWWWWWW World Champion" and it's hard for fans of a certain era to imagine a big, main-event match without him introducing it. He was WWE's very first employee and a huge factor behind the scenes for the past four-plus decades.
Beyond his primary roles, Finkel had a few WWF storylines over the years, including his "feud" with Harvey Wippleman (which, ironically enough, included an appearance by Sy Sperling, who ALSO passed away today!) and his brief role as "Harold" Finkel, the second for Chris Jericho. Both were memorable in that The Fink was a fish out of water, and a very entertaining one at that.
I had the opportunity to meet The Fink once, at a fan convention about a decade ago. He was incredibly down to earth and pleasant to talk to. And his legendary voice (even though he wasn't talking into a microphone) was absolutely still there.
Rest in peace, Howard. Heaven just gained a NEWWWWWWWW Champion.