Robert “Bob” Norris, the most famous face of the cigarette brand, The Marlboro Man, has died at the age of 90. With a cowboy hat on his head and a cigarette in his hand, he drew raves from all sections of people, even though he never smoked in his real-life.
Robert Norris who modelled for the famous brand for a dozen years reportedly died at his ranch in Colorado Springs last Sunday.
The Story Behind The Success
It all started when the ad executives spotted him in a newspaper photo with John Wayne, an actor and Norris’s long-time friend. They thought he would fit in the character of a rugged and handsome cowboy. With no audition or even an encounter with a scout, he was hand-picked as the first Marlboro Man. One of his friends told he accepted the offer as favour. For the initial Marlboro Man campaign, Norris signed a contract with the tobacco company to model his horses and T-Cross Ranch. But the professional models were replaced unexpectedly by the real one- Norris after the crew showed up.
In the 60s, he earned fame through his appearance on magazines, commercials, and billboards of the cigarette company, and it continued for the next 12 years.
Though giving identity to a cigarette brand, he never smoked in his real-life. Later, he decided to quit the advertising campaign on humanitarian grounds, as he thought it was setting a bad example for children.
Norris was a renowned figure in his home town, known for his philanthropic activities and other businesses, apart from being a rancher. He was actively involved in the assistance of several rodeo organisations. He left his two sons and two daughters behind him. His wife passed away in 2016 at the age of 88. Norris lived a pretty long life, and it seems that being a non-smoker served him well.