Robert Norris, known as the original & # 39; Marlboro Man & # 39; used in advertisements for the cigarette brand died at the age of 90.
Norris died Sunday at his farm in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is survived by his two sons and two daughters, 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
For 12 years, Norris adorned billboards and magazines such as the Marlboro Man, a rugged man with a cowboy hat in wild terrain – with a cigarette from his mouth or in his hand.
But even though he had been depicting cigarettes for more than ten years, Norris never smoked, and he finally stopped the advertising campaign when he felt that he was not a good example for his children.
Robert Norris, 90, the original & # 39; Marlboro Man & # 39 ;, died on Sunday at his farm, Tee Cross, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Pictured: Norris on an undated photo like the Marlboro Man
He was approached by advertising executives who were looking for a cowboy in their Marlboro Man commercials. Norris was the Marlboro Man for 12 years and appeared in TV commercials in the US and Europe. Pictured: Norris with his friend, actor John Wayne, left; rightly so
Norris was born in Chicago, Illinois, but decided at a young age that he wanted to be a cowboy.
He started raising horses at the age of 18 before finally moving to Colorado to buy his farm, Tee Cross Ranches, in 1950, which eventually grew to 63,000 hectares.
At the time, ad executives for Marlboro cigarettes – originally marketed as cigarettes for women – tried to figure out how they could be sold to men.
Advertiser Leo Burnett from Chicago came up with the idea of the Marlboro Man, a rugged cowboy who smokes a Marlboro cigarette in the open air.
The company initially used professional models. But Burnett soon felt that he had to find real cowboys for authenticity.
Norris & # 39; son, Bobby, told it KKTV that advertising executives saw his father in a photo in a newspaper with his friend, actor John Wayne.
They soon found him at the Tee Cross Ranches.
& # 39; They ran out of their cars, these boys in their pinstriped suits, and they walked to Dad and said, "How would you like to be in advertising Marlboro cigarettes?", Bobby said to KKTV.
& # 39; He said, "Well, I'm a little busy now. Why don't you come back next week, and if you're serious, we'll talk." They came back the following week. & # 39;
Over the next 12 years, Norris appeared on billboards and in magazines and became the first Marlboro Man to appear on TV in both the US and Europe.
Norris never smoked, and with the feeling that he was a bad example for his children, he stopped the advertising campaign. Pictured: a Norris sketch for Marlboro
After he stopped working for advertising campaigns, Norris continued to work on his farm and became a philanthropist. Pictured: the striking billboard & # 39; Marlboro Man & # 39; above Sunset Boulevard, California, in June 1997
Norris, however, was never a smoker and left the campaign after feeling that he was a bad example for his children.
& # 39; He always said to children: & # 39; I never want to see you smoke & # 39 ;, said Bobby.
& # 39; So one of us finally asked, "If you don't want us to smoke, why do you do cigarette advertising?"
KKTV reports that the same day, Norris phoned and stopped Phillip Morris, the company that produces Marlboro cigarettes.
Norris continued to work on his farm and raise animals he loved.
In 2003, the owner of five baby elephants who had been orphaned in Zimbabwe rented stalls at the ranch.
Norris adopted one of them, Amy, who eventually turned eight feet and weighed 4,000 pounds.
She lived at the Fresno Zoo in California and Norris visited her until she died in 2016.
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