Ron Popeil, who is known for appearing in famous information ads, has died at the age of 86.
The TV personality and inventor died Wednesday morning at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to a press release from his rep from Fox News.
Popeil was best known for the slogan “put it and forget it”, which he used to sell Showtime Rotisserie. The product gross allegedly over 1 billion. $ And skipped other sales records, including those from QVC.
The inventor started in a humble background selling kitchen products in Chicago before his sales pitches “quickly became must-see live entertainment” that gathered audiences in the “hundreds” who would “marvel at his sales exhibits in the selection booth at Woolworths’ flagship store.”
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In 1959, Popeil switched to television and made his first commercial for Chop-o-Matic.
After becoming a mainstay on late-night television, Popeil’s star began to rise, and he appeared in a number of TV shows and often played himself in small cameo roles.
He also appeared in talk shows such as “The Martin Short Show” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” Popeil also served as a judge on 2001’s “Iron Chef USA: Showdown in Las Vegas.”
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“Saturday Night Live” star Dan Aykroyd also played Popeil in a 1976 episode of the popular sketch comedy series.
According to the release, Popeil received “more viewers and more hours of American television than any other celebrity or television personality.”
Outside of “put it and forget it”, he was also known to frequently use such phrases as “but wait, there’s more” and “less shipping and handling.” His innovations are archived by The Smithsonian Institute.
Products sold by his company RONCO include Popeil’s Pocket Fisherman, Mr. Microphone, Hair in a Can, Inside the eggshell egg scrambler and more.
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“A perfectionist and tinker to its core, Ron had the eerie ability to identify a need that the consumer was unaware of, only to then design a product that delivered its promise flawlessly to millions of customers,” the release said. “… Shamelessly authentic and accessible, Ron used his products as a tool to fill a gap he saw created by the circumstances he faced as a child. Without a traditional family structure, his products and life focused on the kitchen he as the core of a home and a family. “
Popeil’s goal was to enable families to come together “accessible” and “to bring people together for common purpose and joy – regardless of their background or experience.”
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As if his achievements in sales and invention were not enough, Popeil also worked as the director of MGM Resorts International for over 30 years, helping to develop the Las Vegas entertainment brand.
Outside of work, he enjoyed fishing, skiing, sailing and more.
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He left behind his wife Robin, daughters Kathryn, Lauren, Contessa and Valentina as well as his grandchildren Rachel, Isabella, Nicole and Asher. He also had a daughter named Shannon, who is now dead.
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