The Heartbreaking Death Of Infomercial King Ron Popeil

Ron Popeil died on July 28. He was 86 years old. TMZ reported that on July 27 that Popeil experienced a "severe medical emergency" and was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was surrounded by his family when he died.

If you've ever turned on the television in the middle of the night and encountered an infomercial so bizarre you thought you were having a fever dream — then you've encountered the products and genius of the Informercial King. If you've ever heard the phrases (or used them ironically), "Set it and forget it" or "But wait, there's more!" then you've encountered the work of Popeil. Popeil was an inventor and founder of the direct response marketing company Ronco. Popeil is responsible for some of the most ingenious and bizarre products of the last 50 years. Ronco developed and sold the pocket fisherman, the Chop-O-Matic hand food processor, the Dial-O-Matic, the Veg-O-Matic, the Beef Jerky Machine, Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ, the Ronco knife set, and Hair-in-a-Can, per the official website of Ronco.

Remember when fidget spinners were all the rage several years ago? In an interview with TMZ, Popeil predicted that they'd be the next big thing. The man knew how to market, well, pretty much everything. Let's take a look at the tragic death of Informercial King Ron Popeil.

If you own a television, Ron Popeil has tried to sell you something

Ron Popeil was born in 1935 in New York. He created the Chop-O-Matic in 1959 and sold two million of them. His next product, the Veg-O-Matic, birthed his iconic and much-repeated catchphrase, "But wait, there's more! (per TMZ). Popeil also created the Bedazzler (originally called the Rhinestone Stud Setter) and Mr. Microphone.

In the early 1950s, Popeil created the first infomercial, a minute-long, black and white commercial for a bit more than $500, according to his official website. The ad was for the Ronco Chop-O-Matic and it sold like proverbial hotcakes and turned Popeil into a household name. Popeil founded Ronco in 1964 and went on to invent and market hundreds of products to television audiences across the globe through infomercials.

In 2005, Popeil sold his direct marketing company, Ronco, to Denver-based Fi-Tek Viaa for $55 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. He was paid to be the company's spokesman until Ronco filed for bankruptcy in 2018. Popeil had a net worth of $200 million at the time of his death.