Although Wheaties was invented in 1921 and named in 1923, it did not begin printing pictures of athletes on its boxes until 1934. The pictures were designed to go with its advertising slogan, "Breakfast of Champions," which the company adopted in 1933.
The first athlete to appear on a Wheaties box was baseball great Lou Gehrig in 1934. In 1935, golfer Babe Didrikson Zaharias became the first female athlete to appear on a Wheaties box. Jesse Owens became the first black athlete on a Wheaties box in 1936. Initially, the athletes' pictures were on the side or back of the box, but they were moved to the front of the box in 1958.