The Lyrical Elitist

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Marlboro Man Dies at 85

marlboro man

A Riverton rancher who became the iconic image of the rugged American Cowboy has died at the age of 85. Darrell Winfield was the original Marlboro Man and his image was used in marketing campaigns around the world. Winfield was declared dead Monday at SageWest-Riverton after a lengthy illness. He had been in hospice care at his home.

Winfield’s image of a hard working real cowboy was burned into the national memory on billboards, signs, advertisements, and promotional materials from Times Square in New York City to Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood and across the world. He served as the Marlboro Man from 1968 to 1989.

Winfield was first spotted by a marketing executive on a photo shoot in Wyoming and he was soon identified as “The Marlboro Man.” Even after he was no longer the subject in the ads, Winfield worked as a wrangler for Marlboro ad photo shoots for his successors. He was an active rancher when not assisting with the commercial shoots.

He lived on his ranch North of Riverton.

Marlboro is the largest selling brand of cigarettes in the world, according to Wikipedia. The cigarette is made by Philip Morris USA (a branch of Altria) within the US, and by Philip Morris International (now separate from Altria) outside the US. It is well known for its billboard advertisements, magazine ads of the Marlboro Man, and its long associated history in the sponsorship of motorsport. Richmond, Virginia, is the location of the largest Marlboro cigarette manufacturing plant.

A memorial service is being planned at a future date.

Family members noted that Winfield’s great grandson, Clay Walters, died in a single vehicle crash east of Hudson one day before his great grandfather’s passing. “Darrell is now with Clay in heaven,” one family member said.

To read the complete obituary, click here.

County 10


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