A man widely believed to be the model for the smiling chef on Cream of Wheat boxes finally has a grave marker bearing his name.
The man on the Cream of Wheat Box was Frank L. White, who died in 1938. But until this week, his grave in Woodlawn Cemetery bore only a tiny concrete marker with no name. The box also doesn’t have any details about the man behind the image.
On Wednesday, a granite gravestone was placed at this burial site, bearing his name and an etching taken from the man depicted in the Cream of Wheat box.
Jesse Lasorda, a family researcher from Lansing, started the campaign to put the marker and etching on White's grave.
"Everybody deserves a headstone," Lasorda told the Lansing State Journal. He discovered that White was born about 1867 in Barbados, came to the U.S. in 1875 and became a citizen in 1890.
When White died in February 15, 1938, the local newspaper Leslie Local-Republican described him as a “famous chef” who “posed for an advertisement of a well known breakfast food.”
White lived in Leslie for about the last 20 years of his life, and the story of his posing for the Cream of Wheat picture was known in the city of 2,000 located between Jackson and Lansing and about 70 miles west of Detroit.
The Jackson Citizen Patriot newspaper said, the Chef was photographed around 1900 when he was working for a Chicago restaurant. His name was not recorded at that time. But White was telling his neighbors that he was the Cream of Wheat model.
Kraft Foods used to own this Cream of Wheat brand, but they sold it this year to B&G Foods, Inc.,
They should mention this in their factory or a museum they might have for old brands. Now we know the picture in the Cream of Wheat box is not just a drawing of a random figure but it is based on the chef Frank L. White.
Did you know this fact before?