The man who got generations of hot dog lovers humming along to the Oscar Mayer Wiener song has died.
According to an obituary posted online by a northern Illinois funeral home, Richard Trentlage died on Sept. 21 at age 87.
His daughter Linda Bruun confirmed to the New York Times that the cause of death was congestive heart failure.
Millions of Americans grew up humming along to Trentlage’s catchy tune: “Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener, that is what I’d truly like to be, ’cause if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener, everyone would be in love with me.”
Trentlage, an advertising executive, reportedly came up with the jingle in just an hour after learning that Oscar Mayer was in the market for a new song to help sell its hot dogs. It debuted in the early 1960s and became the meat company’s primary advertising jingle in over 20 English-speaking countries around the world for half a century. The song was retired in 2010-- but has not been forgotten as plenty on social media paid tribute to the songwriter with a post or Tweet.
RIP Oscar Mayer jingle writer, Richard D. Trentlage. Few men have given more to our culture and society https://t.co/lBVIcOdDB2
— Molly Eichel (@mollyeichel) September 30, 2016
— Mike Barnes (@MikeBarnes4) September 29, 2016
Rest in Peace Oscar Meyer weiner song composer Richard Trentlage A song that you couldnt forget; https://t.co/T7KlrYGacj
— seth borenstein (@borenbears) September 30, 2016
'The Oscar Mayer Wiener Song' "was one of the great single accomplishments in advertising history." https://t.co/gmvLnUIsA6
— Stacey E. Singleton (@staceyNYCDC) September 30, 2016
Trentlage was born in Chicago and began penning jingles as a high school student. Later, he transformed his living room into a recording studio, inviting his own children to sing on audition tapes.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Jacqueline, his sons David and Tom, daughters Linda Bruun and Becky Trentlage; two stepdaughters, Susan Jennings and Patricia Kelley; a stepson, Jeffrey Davis; 19 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.