Who came up with the name Life for a cereal? 

Was it during a sparsely attended advertising meeting…or after a long drunken lunch? Did the Quaker Oat man lose a bet? What on earth does “life” have to do with slightly sweetened oat squares? 

It was introduced in 1958, so was it some beatnik in a turtleneck reading Howl in the Quaker bathroom who just had enough one day and said (snapping his fingers), “listen, hepcats…just call it what it is…you know—like, it’s just, ‘Life’.”  And then all the squares in the office wearing their neckties and cardigans went along with it because they wanted to be as cool and hip as he was. 

They didn’t know how dumb “Cinnamon Life” would sound, but that was twenty years away.  By then that rogue hipster had a beer belly and a couple of kids.  He probably never even really liked listening to jazz or ever got around to reading On the Road anyway.

AuthorBeth Ables