In early 1999 (give or take a few months), Vince McMahon appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Conan asked, since he was the owner, why he couldn't just make himself champion? Vince's reply was that the WWF had to maintain "credibility" with its viewers. This was often cited during the days and weeks following Vince McMahon's winning the WWE Championship in September 1999. And now. Clearly we're over it.
In 2006, WWE released a DVD entitled "McMahon," which had a more-interesting-than-expected biography on Vince McMahon, the character and human, so this page can be filled with many of the tidbits presented there.