Between 1954 to 1999, six different men played the “marlboro man” in advertising, pretending to be cowboys in an attempt to sell a toxic product to toxic masculinity.
Of the six, five were heavy smokers and died of smoking related illness: Wayne McLaren, David MacLean, Eric Lawson, Tobin Jackson, Dick Hammer. The cigarettes earned the nickname “cowboy killers”.
The very first “marlboro man” in 1954 was Robert Norris. He died in November 2019, at age 90. Norris was a lifelong non-smoker.
So why was he selling that crap?
Original ‘Marlboro Man’ Robert ‘Bob’ Norris has died
The rancher…best known for playing the original “Marlboro Man” has died after a life spent not smoking.
Robert ‘Bob’ Norris died in the care of Pikes Peak Hospice in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Nov. 3, according to a statement released by Tee Cross Ranches, which he founded. Norris was 90.
Norris, who was “never a smoker,” was featured in the commercials for 14 years, according to the statement. He abandoned the advertising campaign when Norris “felt he was setting a poor example for his children,” the statement added.