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AP
Gail Tuminello, left, helps artst Lou Cella unveil a statue of her father Orville Redenbacher during a ceremony in Central Park Plaza in Valparaiso, Ind., Tuesday Sept. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/The Post-Tribune, Andy Lavalley)

NW Indiana statue honors popcorn king Redenbacher

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A life-sized bronze statue of Orville Redenbacher has been unveiled in the northwestern Indiana city where he developed the popcorn that made him famous.

The statue in downtown Valparaiso depicts Redenbacher sitting on a park bench wearing the bowtie, suspenders and horn-rimmed glasses that helped make him a television icon with commercials after his popcorn brand was launched in the 1970s.

Mayor Jon Costas and several others wore bowties for Tuesday's unveiling. Costas tells The Times of Munster that the statue will be a great photo opportunity for visitors and that it symbolizes the city's entrepreneurial spirit.

Redenbacher grew up on a family farm near Brazil, Ind., and studied agriculture at Purdue University before starting his work with popcorn. He died in 1995 at age 88.

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