Well, for one thing, it goes back before RPGs. I mean, in baseball we've got umpires who not only make judgments and rulings related to the on-field action, but also have the authority to throw people out for bad sportsmanship. And we all know that whoever owns the ping-pong table gets extra say. I don't think we can really trace it back to the origin. But here's a wonderful example from the dawn of the modern RPG hobby.
Mr. Arneson: [...] I had a weekend off, so I sat up reading books, eating popcorn, and watching the boob tube. I drew up a maze and populated it with creatures. Then the next time someone showed up for Napoleonics I said that we were going to do something different.[...]
Pegasus: So historical gaming did influence you when you set up Blackmoor.
Mr. Arneson: It certainly did. We established (in our historical campaigns) the principal of having a Judge who everyone listened to and who set up the battle or campaign. That’s where we were coming from, traditional wargaming.
Pegasus: It’s nice to hear about a campaign where people listen to the Judge. I’ve seen a lot of campaigns that are a little more chaotic.
Mr. Arneson: Yes, but it took a lot of forceful diplomacy on my part (the baseball bat helped). The games were held in my basement and I have thrown out disruptive players. That way I established the fact that I was in charge and when I talk you had better listen. Then when others would Judge, I could use my influence to back them up by saying "If you don’t listen to this Judge, I’ll remove you". Before I knew it, even I was listening to the Judge whether I liked it or not.
(All emphasis mine.)