One Of The Original “Marlboro Men” Has Died

We’ve got some sad news if you’re a smoker and no, it’s not another reminder that you’re slowly killing yourself. One of the most iconic men in the history of tobacco advertising has died. Darrell Hugh Winfield, best known for being the  “Marlboro Man,” passed away at his home in Wyoming at the age of 85. 

 Winfield first appeared in ads for Phillip Morris’ most famous cigarette brand in 1968 and continued to be one of many “Marlboro Men” until 1989 when a Master Settlement Agreement between the tobacco companies and state attorney generals ended the use of people or cartoons in marketing campaigns. He was more than just the longest serving and most famous Marlboro Man but probably the most authentic. 

 A native of Kansas, Oklahoma, he moved to Wyoming where he worked on a ranch roping cattle and competing in rodeos. A marketing executive took pictures of Winfield in action at the Quarter Circle 5 Ranch and asked him if he would like to be in a Marlboro advertising campaign targeted towards men. He first appeared in an ad as “The Sheriff” before playing himself as a rough cowboy who clearly enjoyed his cigarettes. 

 Marlboro even used Winfield after they ended their advertising campaign in 1989. When several former Marlboro Men who suffered from smoking related illnesses testified on Capitol Hill to ask for more restrictive laws agains smoking and tobacco marketing campaigns, Phillip Morris claimed that Winfield was the only true “Marlboro Man.” We’re sure that they meant the only Marlboro Man without a smoking related illness but you know how PR works.