cool whip inventor dies at 86
This is sad...the man who introduced America to Cool Whip died this week right here in Indianapolis.
Estel Wood "Ed" Kelley, co-chairman of The Steak 'n Shake Co. and a food industry executive credited with introducing Americans to brands such as Tang, Grey Poupon mustard and Cool Whip, has died. He was 86.
Kelley died Friday at Indiana University Medical Center after battling prostate cancer for several years.
"He was a motivating leader, a visionary businessman and a great friend," said Alan B. Gilman, the company's chairman and chief executive.
Kelley was a successful entrepreneur and former executive of Standard Brands, R. H. Macy, General Foods, Heublein, Consolidated Cigar, Gulf and Western, and Fairmont Foods. He participated in the development or domestic introduction of products such as Tang, Cool Whip, Grey Poupon Mustard, Smirnoff vodka, Klondike ice cream bars and A-1 Steak Sauce.
After his tenure as CEO of Fairmont Foods, Kelley founded a group of investors called Kelley & Partners, which bought underperforming companies and sought to repair them.
Kelley, who grew up on an Indiana farm and attended a one-room schoolhouse, had continued as co-chairman of the Indianapolis-based company even after his cancer returned in early 2002.
Planet Swank salutes the memory of Mr. Kelley and the legacy of well-known food products he left behind.