Orville Redenbacher - The Man

Real Estate Agent

Orville Redenbacher - The Man Remembered

Up until 5 years ago, I assumed that Orville Redenbacher was not a real person.  I remember watching that first microwave popcorn commercial years and years ago and thinking that he must be a paid actor.  A person that some marketing person made up to sell a product. which in this case happened to be called Orville Redenbacher Popcorn.  To my mind, such a unique name plus a unique person behind the product could only be made up.  You know, like Betty Crocker, who never ages and is constantly changing with the times. 

Back then, I had never even heard of Valparaiso, Indiana either.  Little did I know I would end up living in the middle of corn country. 

Well, it didn't take long to find out that Orville Redenbacher was indeed a honest to goodness real person who dedicated his life to perfecting his popcorn.  Orville was born in 1907 in Brazil, Indiana where they also have an annual Popcorn Festival.  At the young age of 12, he started growing his own popcorn.  After receiving his degree from Purdue University, he went on to raising popcorn for supermarkets. 

Most of his years, Orville lived in Valparaiso Indiana.  Orville actually had a business partner named Charles Bowman and this partnership led to the perfection of their popcorn hybrid.  Finally, in 1983, ConAgra Food acquired the Orville Redenbacher brand.  Popcorn continued to change and improve over the years.

Orville Redenbacher, the man, died in 1995 but he will be remembered for years to come.

If you are interested in watching those classic Orville Redenbacher commercials, including the ones with his grandson, here's a link with their history and commercials.  Pop some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy!

Irene Tron
Making Real Estate Enjoyable in Valparaiso, Indiana

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Richard & Carol DeGrace
1st Colonial Community Bank | Bank - New Jersey - Cherry Hill, NJ
Mortgage Loan Officers NJ 609-209-3700

Interesting home town history - to think you never heard of the town and now you are living in it and it is (somewhat) famous!

Aug 28, 2009 02:56 PM #1
Liz Loadholt
Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC - Mount Pleasant, SC
Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC

Irene -- I did not know that Orville Redenbacher was a real person --- thanks for the information. Interesting post.

Mama Liz's Signature

Aug 28, 2009 03:02 PM #2
Amy Jones Group
RE/Max Infinity - www.AmySellsAZ.com - Chandler, AZ
Recognized as the #1 RE/MAX Team in the Valley

Thanks for your post.  Orville will always be remembered!

Aug 28, 2009 03:31 PM #3
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Orville is like one of those aliens in 'Men in Black'. If you tear away the face you'll actually have Frank Purdue!

Aug 28, 2009 03:53 PM #4
Irene Tron
Valparaiso, IN

Steve - As I was watching those old commercials on their website, I realized that Orville does mention being from Valparaiso, Indiana on the very first commercial.  I never remembered that until looking at it again today. 

Liz - You are not alone in thinking than that he was not the real thing.

Amy - With a name like Orville Redenbacher and great popcorn, how can we forget?

Ed - You always manage to put a smile on my face with your comments!  Very funny.

Thanks for commenting, all.

Aug 28, 2009 04:32 PM #5
Dan Callahan
Callahan's Home Inspections - Casper, WY

Irene, there is a lighthouse in San Diego California where Mr Redenbacher use to like to go sit and watch the boats go in and out of San Diego harbor. I had the pleasure of meeting him and having several long talks with him over a few year period. He was a very kind and honest person.

Aug 28, 2009 04:54 PM #6
Suesan Jenifer Therriault
JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team - Blakeslee, PA
"Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own".

I knew he was a real person, I just didn't know he passed away. That's what I love about AR ... I learn something new everyday.

Aug 28, 2009 06:38 PM #7
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells 1-814-881-7548 - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Irene--Orville has been my favorite for years and years.  Just the other day I made a batch of his air popped popcorn san the oil.  I ate the whole bowl!  M-m-m-m GOOD.  I will click on the link shortly.  Interestig that you would end up living in his hometown of Valparaiso.

Aug 28, 2009 08:04 PM #8
Irene Tron
Valparaiso, IN

Dan - What was the name of the lighthouse?  We spent a week vacationing in San Diego a few years back and had a chance to visit Point Loma Lighthouse.  I was just wondering if it might happen to be the same one.

Suesan - I agree.  You never know what kind of trivia you'll pick up.

Mary - I also enjoy popcorn as a snack anytime of the day and can eat an entire bowl of it!

Aug 29, 2009 09:14 AM #9
Dan Callahan
Callahan's Home Inspections - Casper, WY

Hi Irene, yes it was the Point Loma Lighthouse. If I remember right he had a home over on Coronado Island.

Aug 29, 2009 10:19 AM #10
Jeff&Grace Safrin
F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate - Valparaiso, IN

Awesome Blog Post Irene - I personally can't wait for the popcorn fest in VALPO every year - we love to go early and tour the craft booths and displays (and of course eat FREE popcorn).

I knew Valpo was Orvilleville :) but did not know he graduated from Purdue !

I will have to tell Jeff that  (He's an IU grad)... LOL we are house divided on the oak n bucket rivalry with our youngest at Purdue right now!

Thanks for sharing this info.



p.s. Love your motto: Making Real Estate Enjoyable in Valparaiso, Indiana


Sep 01, 2009 05:25 PM #11
Irene Tron
Valparaiso, IN

Dan - I remember Point Loma Lighthouse being one of the most peaceful places every.  You live in a beautiful city with some awesome weather.

Grace - Valpo = Orvilleville.  I have not thought of it quite that way and it made me smile.  My motto idea came from dealing with my first two clients.  Both had been thinking about purchasing their first home and were stressed out by the whole process.  I decided I needed to focus on trying to take some of the stress off of them by having some fun in the whole process and laughing through difficult situations.  (as in getting lost in LOFS)

Sep 02, 2009 08:45 AM #12
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

I knew he was a real person, but not until he died in 1995. He used to live here in San Diego, either on Coronado Island or Point Loma. I forget which.

I came back after reading the comments. The lighthouse on Point Loma is the "Old Point Loma Lighthouse." However, it's now a national historic monument, and it is anything but peaceful over there. The new Point Loma lighthouse down closer to the ocean is not accessible to the general public.

Sep 05, 2009 02:00 AM #13
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