Orville Redenbacher: What You Didn’t Know About The Popcorn King And His Favorite Snack

By | June 26, 2019

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Orville Redenbacher's comical name is now synonymous with popcorn. Source: (guidepost.org)

You might remember the popcorn commercials on TV in the 1970s through 1990s that featured a bow-tie wearing old man with a funny name. That was Orville Redenbacher, and believe it or not, he became one of the most successful and well-known agricultural entrepreneurs in the country. How did this bespeckled gent from Indiana create an empire from a humble snack? Let’s find out. Here’s what you didn’t know about the Popcorn King and his favorite snack. 

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Orville Redenbacher, acknowledged as the popcorn king of the world, is also a kingpin in the liquid fertilizer business and in the sale of irrigation equipment and snowmobiles. Source: (gettyimages.co.uk)

Orville Redenbacher didn’t Invent Popcorn

Orville Redenbacher was old when he appeared in all those TV commercials but not nearly old enough to have invented popcorn. Popcorn is an old, old snack. And it’s an all-American creation. Kernels of popped and unpopped popcorn dating back to around 3600 BC were discovered in a cave in the American Southwest. According to native folklore, tiny, even-tempered spirits lived in each kernel of popcorn. When they were heated over the fire, however, they became so angry that the exploded out of their shell.