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Betty Crocker Was Never a Real Person

Before Betty Crocker was synonymous with boxed cake mix and canned frosting, she was the Dear Abby of cooking — a woman people could trust with their most frustrating kitchen woes. Surprisingly, Betty was never an actual person. She was actually the brainchild of an executive at the flour milling company Washburn-Crosby, who came up with the fictional character for a 1921 ad campaign for Gold Medal Flour. The ad in the Saturday Evening Post asked readers to send in their cooking questions, but little did anybody know they be flooded with responses. That established the need for a female cooking authority who could gracefully answer any kitchen questions presented. The company’s answer to that issue was to invent Betty Crocker. The first name Betty was thought to be a cheerful name, and the last name of Crocker actually came from a recently retired director of the company, William G. Crocker. The face of Betty Crocker in print ads and on product labels has been depicted by various artists since the 1920s. In 1945, Fortune magazine declared her the second most popular woman in America, the first being Eleanor Roosevelt. Betty Crocker products are now sold worldwide… and it all started with a newspaper ad.