"You'll like it better, or my name isn't Orville Redenbacher," says the famous king of popcorn, whose July birthday is being celebrated by the Libraries. Orville, the smiling gentleman with a bow-tie and thick black glasses, was not a TV actor as some believe. He was a real person, born on July 16 in 1907 near Brazil, Indiana. His love of popcorn began in childhood, and he started growing his own popping corn hybrids at age 12, while in 4-H. Orville attended Purdue University, which awarded him a Bachelor's degree in agronomy in 1928. Eventually, Orville and a business partner developed an optimal popcorn hybrid that was light and fluffy and left a minimal amount of unpopped corn. Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn went on the market in 1971 and soon became a major success. According to Purdue University's page about Orville, his gourmet popping corn "is still the top-selling brand of popcorn in the United States." By the way, he is actually "Dr." Orville Redenbacher—Purdue awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1988.
Popcorn, which was discovered by Native Americans several thousand years ago, not only is a very popular snack but also can be a healthy one, depending on how it is prepared.
Check out this book about popcorn, published by the Smithsonian:
Popped culture : a social history of popcorn in America. Andrew F. Smith. Washington, D.C. : Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001.
A popcorn maker
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