Orville Redenbacher

Orville Clarence Redenbacher (1907 - 1995)

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Orville Clarence Redenbacher
Born in Brazil, Clay County, Indiana, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Father of , [private daughter (1930s - unknown)] and [private daughter (1950s - unknown)]
Died in Coronado, San Diego County, California, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 15 Jul 2014
This page has been accessed 3,694 times.

Categories: Entrepreneurs | American Notables.

Orville Redenbacher is notable.
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Orville Redenbacher was born on a small corn farm in Brazil, Indiana on July 16, 1907, to William Joseph Redenbacher and Julia Magdalena (Dierdorff) Redenbacher. He grew up on his family's farm where he sometimes sold popcorn from the back of his car.[1]

Orville graduated from Brazil High School in 1924 in the top 5% of his class. [2] He attended Purdue University, graduating in 1928 with a degree in Agronomy. [3]

Redenbacher was married to his first wife, Corinne Rosemund Strate, in 1928. In 1930 and 1940 they lived in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana, United States.[4][5]

Corinne died May 24, 1971. Orville remarried later that year to his second wife, Nina Reder.

You'll like it better or my name isn't Orville Redenbacher!

Orville spent most of his life in the agriculture industry, serving as a Farm Bureau extension agent in several counties. He also sold fertilizer and became quite wealthy but he never quit experimenting on his popcorn.[6]

Orville and partner Charlie Bowman bought the George F. Chester and Son seed corn plant near Valparaiso, Indiana and began their company, "Chester Hybrids," They tried tens of thousands of hybrid strains of popcorn before finally developing the perfect popcorn, which they nitially wanted to name "RedBow." A marketing specialist convinced them to use the name "Orville Redenbacher Popcorn" and the rest is history.

Around 1972 Redenbacher began appearing in television commercials, as himself, hawking his new popcorn.[7]. He even appeared on the television show To Tell the Truth where he stumped panelists such as Kitty Carlisle Hart, Peggy Cass and Joe Garagiola. [8][9]

He was so distinctive that people thought he was an actor cast to play the part. He is known for his white hair, glasses and red suspenders. [10] In 1984, Orville published the Orvillle Redenbacher Popcorn. Book

On September 19, 1995, Redenbacher was found dead in the Jacuzzi of his condominium in Coronado, California.[11][12] He had suffered a heart attack and drowned. He was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.[13]

As the brand, which had been bought by ConAgra began to produce "natural" popcorn they revived some of his old commercials. Then in January 2007, a television commercial featuring a digital re-creation of Redenbacher appeared. [14]

Gary Redenbacher, responded to questions about how he felt about the advertisement by saying: "Grandpa would go for it. He was a cutting-edge guy. This was a way to honor his legacy." [15]

The ads were quickly pulled however as critics said the digital Redenbacher was more like, "Orville Deadenbacher - The Popcorn Zombie."

Orville Redenbacher, the original, and his popcorn are as popular today as ever.[16][17][18]


  1. Indiana Humanities Food for Thought: Orville Redenbacher.
  2. "High School Will Graduate Many." Brazil Daily Times (Brazil, Indiana), page 2, May 15, 1924. Accessed August 21, 2016. Graduation of the Brazil High School class of 1924, including Orville C. Redenbacher.
  3. Purdue Profiles.
  4. "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X413-ZQW : accessed 13 November 2017), Orville Redenbacher, Terre Haute, Vigo, Indiana, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 17, sheet 15A, line 43, family 401, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 635; FHL microfilm 2,340,370.
  5. "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V1TM-73Y : accessed 13 November 2017), Orville Redenbacher, Patoka Township, Gibson, Indiana, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 26-19, sheet 2A, line 29, family 43, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 1046.
  6. Orville Redenbacher, A Passion for Popcorn.
  7. Youtube: 1976 Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Commercial.
  8. Youtube: To Tell the Truth with Orville Redenbacher, Part 1.
  9. Youtube: To Tell the Truth with Orville Redenbacher, Part 2.
  10. Who2 Biographies: Orville Redenbacher.
  11. "California Death Index, 1940-1997," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VP28-M5T : 26 November 2014), Orville Clarence Redenbacher, 19 Sep 1995; Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.
  12. "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J2RY-GMP : 20 May 2014), O C Redenbacher, 15 Sep 1995; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  13. Wikipedia:Orville Redenbacher.
  14. Digitally Recreated Orville Redenbacher Commercial.
  15. Biography Orville Redenbacher.
  16. Orville Refenbacher facebook.
  17. Orville Refenbacher Popcorn Instagram.
  18. OvervillePopcorn twitter.

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No known carriers of Orville's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 4
Orville Redenbacher Image 2
Orville Redenbacher Image 2

Orville Redenbacher Image 3
Orville Redenbacher Image 3

Orville Redenbacher Image 7
Orville Redenbacher Image 7

Orville Redenbacher in 1979
Orville Redenbacher in 1979


On 19 Sep 2018 at 22:46 GMT Tj McDermott wrote:

Each year there is an “Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Festival “ & parade in Valparaiso IN in his honor. Started in early 1980’s and he would make an appearance.

On 19 Sep 2018 at 18:04 GMT Cathleen Bachman wrote:

I love this profile!

On 16 Jul 2014 at 19:55 GMT Rick Pierpont wrote:

The scan of the original 1920 census is here: http://www.archive.org/stream/14thcensusofpopu424unit#page/n261/mode/1up

It shows that Conrad was born in Ohio, and his wife (Julia's mother) was born in Germany. Both of Conrad's parents were born in Germany.

On 16 Jul 2014 at 19:18 GMT Rick Pierpont wrote:

In the 1920 Census, name is spelled Redenbocker. Orville's father is "W.J. Redenbocker". Mother is "Julia Dierdoff". His maternal grandfather is living with them, and his name is Conrad Dierdoff. See https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MFQK-JB8

Orville is 33 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 23 degrees from Burl Ives and 24 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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