Origins of 12 Modern Icons

Ronald McDonald

Perhaps the most recognizable advertising icon in the world, this beloved clown made his television debut in 1963, played by future Today weatherman Willard Scott. Nicknamed the "hamburger-happy clown," Ronald's look was a bit different back then: He had curly blond hair, a fast-food tray for a hat, a magic belt, and a paper cup for a nose. Ronald's makeover must have been a hit because today McDonald's serves more than 52 million customers a day around the globe.

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