Orville Redenbacher – Wikipedia

American businessman ( 1907–1995 )

This article is about the person. For the brand of popcorn, see Orville Redenbacher ‘s

Orville Clarence Redenbacher ( July 16, 1907 – September 19, 1995 ) [ 1 ] was an american food scientist and businessman most much associated with the brand of popcorn that bears his name that is now owned by ConAgra. The New York Times described him as “ the agrarian airy who all but single-handed revolutionized the american popcorn industry. ” [ 2 ]

early life [edit ]

Purdue yearbook photograph of Redenbacher, circa 1926 Redenbacher was born in Brazil, Indiana, on July 16, 1907, to William Joseph Redenbacher ( 1872–1939 ), a farmer, and Julia Magdalena Dierdorff ( 1874–1944 ). [ 1 ] He grew up on his family ‘s farm where he sometimes sold popcorn from the back of his car. He graduated from Northview High School ( Brazil, Indiana ) in 1924 in the top 5 % of his course. He attended Purdue University, where he joined the agriculture-oriented Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, marched bass horn in the Purdue All-American Marching Band, [ 3 ] joined the Purdue University track team, [ 4 ] and worked at The Purdue Exponent. He graduated in 1928 with a degree in agronomy. [ 5 ] He spent most of his life in the department of agriculture diligence, serving as a Vigo County Farm Bureau extension agent in Terre Haute, Indiana, and at Princeton Farms in Princeton, Indiana. [ 6 ]

occupation career [edit ]

The man that The New York Times described as “ but for all his yokel appearance, the man with the touch ashen wavy haircloth and outsize bow affiliation was a astute agricultural scientist who experimented with hybrids ” [ 2 ] began his career sell fertilizer, but spent his spare clock time working with popcorn. In 1951, he and partner Charlie Bowman bought the George F. Chester and Son seed corn whiskey plant in Boone Grove, Indiana. [ 6 ] Naming the ship’s company “ Chester Hybrids ”, they tried tens of thousands of loanblend strains of popcorn before settling on a hybrid they named “ RedBow ”. An advertising agency advised them to use Orville Redenbacher ‘s own mention as the mark appoint. [ 7 ] They launched their pop corn in 1970. [ 8 ] In 1976, Redenbacher sold the ship’s company to Hunt – Wesson Foods, [ 9 ] a division of Norton Simon, Inc. In 1983, Esmark purchased Norton Simon, which in act was acquired by Beatrice Foods in 1984. In 1985, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts acquired Beatrice with the finish of selling off businesses. In 1990, they sold the popcorn business and other old Hunt-Wesson businesses to agribusiness elephantine ConAgra .

advertise [edit ]

In 1973 Redenbacher appeared on television ‘s To Tell the Truth game show. [ 10 ] By the mid-1970s, Redenbacher and Bowman had captured a one-third of the unpopped-popcorn market. [ 8 ] Redenbacher then moved to Coronado, California, where he lived for the end of his life. [ 9 ]

He appeared as the company ‘s official spokesman, wearing a brand outfit in public that included horn-rimmed glasses and a bow tie. sometimes Redenbacher appeared in commercials with his grandson, Gary Redenbacher. [ 11 ] Some customers wrote letters asking if Redenbacher was a very person, and not an actor ( see, e.g., Bartles & Jaymes ). He responded to this by appearing on assorted spill shows, professing his identity. Redenbacher, in his book, states, “ I want to make it pass that I am real. ” [ 6 ]

personal biography [edit ]

Redenbacher was married to his first gear wife, Corinne Rosemund Strate ( 1909–1971 ), from 1928 until her death on May 24, 1971. He remarried later that year to his second wife, Nina Reder, who died on May 8, 1991, at the senesce of 91. The New York Times noted upon his end that “ Redenbacher is survived by two daughters, Billie Ann Atwood of San Jose, Calif., and Gail Tuminello of Valparaiso, Ind. ; 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. ” [ 2 ]

Death and bequest [edit ]

On September 19, 1995, Redenbacher died in the Jacuzzi of his condominium in Coronado, California. He had suffered a kernel attack and drowned. [ 5 ] He was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea. [ 6 ] On the September 23, 1995 edition of Siskel & Ebert, Roger Ebert eulogized Redenbacher by calling him “ a man who took popcorn badly, adenine badly as we take the movies. ” His co-host, Gene Siskel, added that “ he actually was more than barely a cunning, cuddlesome advertise name. He actually was a scientist who came up with a new stress of popcorn that in truth kept that hale diligence alive [ … ] that ‘s a real contribution. ” [ 12 ] In 1988, Purdue University awarded him an honorary doctor’s degree. [ 13 ] apart from his popcorn contribution, the entertainment provided by the television receiver commercials in which he starred was noteworthy. [ 14 ] [ 15 ] Since 2006, several of Orville ‘s commercials from the 1970s and 1980s have aired on many channels across the United States. [ citation needed ] The advertisements for the brand ‘s “ natural ” popcorn snacks were introduced in 2008, 13 years after Redenbacher ‘s death, and feature a nip of him at the end. In January 2007, a television commercial featuring a digital diversion of Redenbacher appeared. Redenbacher ‘s grandson, Gary Redenbacher, responded to questions about how he felt about the ad by saying : “ Grandpa would go for it. He was a up-to-date guy. This was a way to honor his bequest. ” [ 16 ] Redenbacher ‘s clientele partner, Charles F. Bowman, died in 2009. [ 17 ] On September 4, 2012, Valparaiso, Indiana unveiled a statue of Redenbacher at the city ‘s annual popcorn festival. [ 18 ]

Notes [edit ]