Darrell Winfield might be remembered by America as the original Marlboro Man, but that wasn’t his greatest accomplishment in life.
In fact, Winfield never completely converted to the model way. During his time being featured on some of the biggest Marlboro ads, he was still maintaining his own ranch.
More importantly, he was raising a family.
Winfield is succeeded by his wife Lennie, six children, and a ton of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who all took to social media to celebrate the true cowboy’s life, posting photos and sharing memories.
Winfield’s obituary described him by saying, “He loved his wife of 66 years and made her and his family his highest priority. He also cherished his friends and all were welcome at their home. After having a stroke, his loving wife became his primary caregiver, along with help from family and friends.”
It’s obvious that Winfield was a family man who spent the latter part of his life in Wyoming, not in the Hollywood spotlight.
Winfield was discovered by advertising agency Leo Burnett in 1968, USA Today reports, while he was working at the Quarter Circle 5 Ranch. He participated in Marlboro campaigns into the ’70s and ’80s.
According to his obituary, the rancher was once asked what life would have been like for him if he hadn’t been the face of Marlboro. Winfield replied, “Life would have basically been the same.” He loved horses, rodeo, team roping, ranching and living the cowboy way of life.
He didn’t just embody the handsome, manly qualities the billboards and magazines were trying to capture; he also lived the ideals.
As of now, Winfield’s official cause of death is unknown.