Oscar G. Mayer, the 95-year old retired chairman of the Wisconsin-based meat processing company that bears his name, has passed away. According to his wife Geraldine, he died of natural causes at a Hospice facility in Fitchburg, Wisconsin.
Mayer was the third “Oscar Mayer”in the meat processing dynasty, whose marketing campaigns became pop culture icons, from the famed Wienermobiles that have been cruising the country since 1936, to two of the best jingles ever written: “I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener” in 1965 and “My Bologna has a First Name, It’s O-S-C-A-R” in 1973.
The company was founded by Mayer’s grandfather, Oscar F. Mayer, in the 1890s, when he and his two brothers sold sausages in Chicago. They began using the Oscar Mayer brand name in the 1920s, when they introduced the country’s first package of sliced bacon ” an innovation that earned the company a U.S. government patent.
Mayer joined the company in 1936, the same year as the Wienermobile. He was named president in 1955, chairman in 1966 and retired in 1977, the same year that the company reached a record $1 billion in sales.
According to TMZ.com, the world famous Wieinermobile has often been used at funerals of former members of the Mayer family — but don’t expect to see it at this one. The grandson of the original Oscar Mayer requested the Wienermobile not make an appearance because “it would be too much of a spectacle.” Mayer’s wishes were for a small private funeral.