Ron Popeil, inventor and king of TV pitchmen, dies at 86

Obit Ron Popeil

FILE – In this Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1982 file photo, Ron Popeil, the man behind those late-night, rapid-fire television commercials that sell everything from the Mr. Microphone to the Pocket Fisherman to the classic Veg-a-Matic, sits surrounded by his wares in his office in Beverly Hills, Calif. Ron Popeil, the quintessential TV pitchman and inventor known to generations of viewers for hawking products including the Veg-O-Matic, the Chop-O-Matic, Mr. Microphone and the Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ, died Wednesday, July 28, 2021 his family said. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ron Popeil, the quintessential TV pitchman and inventor known to generations of viewers for hawking products including the Veg-O-Matic and the Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ, has died.

Popeil’s family says he died Wednesday at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 86.

Popeil began hawking his inventions in the open-air markets of Chicago as a teenager.

He would become a constant presence on television from the late 1950s into the 2000s, pushing products such as the Pocket Fisherman and Mr. Microphone.

He popularized phrases like, “But wait — there’s more,” and “Now how much would you pay?”

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