First Lady Of Food

Sam Gale had a problem. The stunning success of Washburn Crosby Company’s latest Gold Medal Flour promotion had buried the advertising manager’s staff under an avalanche of mail. Doggedly, Sam began answering the hundreds of homemakers requesting recipes and hostessing hints.

Believing the answers would seem more spontaneous if they were signed by a woman, Sam adopted the surname of Washburn’s late director and a first name intended to evoke everyone’s favorite aunt.

Thus in 1921, Betty Crocker was born.

She was an instant merchandising success. Sales quickly rose to dizzying heights, and soon her neat signature was being used to sign 4,000 letters every day.

Homemakers everywhere looked to Betty for motherly advice and her simple, dependable recipes attracted millions of fans. In 1934 she was voted the second best-known woman in America. Studiously wholesome, Betty Crocker soon became the epitome of everything Washburn Crosby Company (later to become General Mills) wished to represent.

Sam Gale’s brainchild had become one of the greatest and most personable salespeople of all time.