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Betty Crocker

No, Virginia, there’s no such thing as Betty Crocker, and she never existed. Betty Crocker was invented in 1921 by the Washburn Crosby Company (several years before it was renamed General Mills), in order to provide a personalized response to inquiries about their consumer products. Marjorie Husted, an economist employed by the company, devised the name, and in 1924 she launched, wrote, and provided the voice for radio show Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air, which ran through 1953 and helped give Betty a level of fame matched by few (in 1945 Crocker was named by Fortune magazine as the second most popular American woman, behind Eleanor Roosevelt). Her name has adorned cookbooks, catalogues, and more recently cake mix, and while her face and voice might be familiar to millions of Americans, she's completely fictitious.

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