Remembering Wyoming’s “Marlboro Man”
Wyoming has produced its fair share of famous residents over the years. From political leaders like to former Vice President Dick Cheney to world renowned artists like Jackson Pollock, many influential men and women have proudly represented the Cowboy State. Darrell Winfield was, perhaps, the most iconic figure of them all.
You might not know him by name, but he's one of the most recognizable figures in American history. For over 20 years, Winfield was "the Marlboro Man."
Winfield grew up during the Great Depression. His family was part of the famous Dust Bowl migration to California. As an adult, he moved to Wyoming and found work on a ranch near Riverton.
His fortunes would change in 1968, when executives from the Leo Burnett Advertising Agency visited the ranch for a photo shoot. It didn't take long before Winfield was asked to be the face of the Phillip Morris Company's "Marlboro Man" campaign.
For the next two decades, Winfield's image would become synonymous with western culture. Nearly 37 years since the "Marlboro Man" was discontinued in 1989, it remains a popular character and an enduring cultural icon.
In spite of his fame, Winfield lived a simple life. He continued to work on his ranch until Jan. 12, 2015, when he passed away in Riverton at the age of 85. Nearly a year since his death, it's safe to say his memory will live on for generations to come.