Infomercial King Ron Popeil Dies

    Ron Popeil.

    With every infomercial that runs on television today, each company that uses the medium has Ron Popeil to thank.

    Long credited as the inventor of the infomercial, Popeil first tapped into the power of television in the 1950s for the Ronco Chop-o-Matic, according to his website. Over the decades that followed, he would sell millions of kitchenware products and a host of other items generating billions of dollars in sales.

    On Thursday, July 28, the 86-year old succumb to a brain hemorrhage at a Los Angeles hospital, according to the New York Times.


    Born in New York City in May of 1935, Popeil and his partner at the time, Mel Korey, produced the first 60-second commercial in black and white at a cost of slightly more than $500 to promote the Chop-o-Matic.

    In the decades that followed, Popeil and Ronco would use infomercials to sell a number of kitchenware products. They included the Veg-o-Matic, Electric Food Dehydrator, Inside-the-Egg Scrambler, Automatic Pasta Maker, 6 Star Plus Knives and the Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ.

    At the turn of the century, Popeil also found sales success on QVC. During an appearance in 2000, he sold more than $1 million of his Showtime Rotisseries during a one-hour live airing, according to his website.

    Popeil is survived by his wife, Robin; daughters Kathryn Gantman, Lauren Popeil, Contessa Popeil and Valentina Popeil; sisters Lisa Popeil and Pamela Popeil; and four grandchildren.