"Mario (マリオ) is a fictional character in his eponymous video game series, created by video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Serving as Nintendo's mascot and the main protagonist of the series, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation. Though originally only appearing in platform games, starting with Donkey Kong, Mario currently appears in varied video game genres such as racing, puzzle, role-playing, fighting, and sports.
Mario is depicted as a short, pudgy, Italian plumber who lives in the Mushroom Kingdom. He repeatedly stops Bowser's numerous plans to kidnap Princess Peach and subjugate the Mushroom Kingdom. He also has other enemies and rivals, including Donkey Kong and Wario. Since 1995, Mario has been voiced by Charles Martinet.
As Nintendo's mascot, Mario is one of the most famous characters in video game history, and his image is commonly associated with video games. Mario games, as a whole, have sold more than 210 million units, making the Mario series the best-selling video game series of all time. Outside platform games, he has appeared in video games of other genres, including the Mario Kart racing series, sports games, such as the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf series, and role-playing games such as Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG. He has also inspired television shows, film, comics, and a line of licensed merchandise."
Source: Wikipedia, "Mario", available under the CC-BY-SA License.