The history-making life of America's most beloved culinary icon is told for the first time in a revealing, fully illustrated book.
In 1945, Fortune magazine named Betty Crocker the second most popular American woman, right behind Eleanor Roosevelt, and dubbed her America's First Lady of Food. Not bad for a gal who never actually existed.
Born in 1921 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to proud corporate parents, Betty Crocker has grown into one of the most successful branding campaigns the world has ever known. Now, at long last, she has her own biography, thanks to the reigning authority on the social/marketing phenomenon that is Betty Crocker. Drawing on six years of research and an unprecedented look into the General Mills archives, Susan Marks recounts the bizarre and sensational story of how a contrived spokesperson for Gold Medal Flour was enthusiastically welcomed into kitchens and shopping carts across the nation.
First came the radio show, the magazine byline, and personalized responses to letters written by women everywhere who wanted and needed Betty's help with homemaking. It wasn't long before she was answering over 4,000 letters daily, writing her own cookbooks, entertaining celebrities on her own television show, founding a college scholarship program, and rendering competitors Kay Kellogg and Ann Pillsbury obsolete.
In answering the question of why everyone was buying what Betty was selling, Susan Marks offers an entertaining, charming, and utterly unique look--through words and pictures--of an American icon situated between profound symbolism and kitchen kitsch.