Orville Redenbacher started growing popcorn when he was 12 years old to make extra money. He continued growing it through his teenage years and made enough money to put himself through college, where he received a bachelor's degree in agriculture.
Redenbacher was born in Brazil, Ind. in 1907. His father, William Joseph Redenbacher, was a farmer, and corn was the family's primary crop. At first, Orville Redenbacher sold fertilizer until he realized popcorn could make more money. During that time, he perfected his popcorn technique until he was satisfied, then abandoned fertilizer and started selling popcorn from the trunk of his car.