New book tackles life of popcorn king Redenbacher - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

New book tackles life of popcorn king Redenbacher

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A new biography of popcorn baron Orville Redenbacher tracks his passion for gourmet popcorn to his childhood on an Indiana farm.

"Just Call Me Orville: The Story of Orville Redenbacher" focuses on Redenbacher's Indiana roots, starting with his life on a family farm near Brazil. It was published last month by Purdue University Press and was written by the late Bob Topping, a Purdue historian.

The book recounts Redenbacher's early interest in agriculture, his education in agronomy and plant genetics at Purdue and work as a county agriculture agent. Redenbacher later helped develop gourmet popcorn hybrids and co-founded companies that marketed them.

The bow tie- and suspender-wearing Redenbacher became a television icon by pitching his popcorn in commercials playing off his wholesome image. He died in 1995 at age 88.

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