Alfred Steele

Alfred Steele

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Alfred Steele

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Alfred Nu Steele (April 24, 1901 – April 4, 1959) was a U.S. soft drink businessman. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1923, where he played football, and became an ad executive. He first worked for the Coca-Cola Company, as vice president of marketing. He later became the CEO of the Pepsi-Cola Company in 1949. Under his management, sales tripled between 1955–1957. He reduced the sugar content of the sodas and introduced Pepsi products to third world countries. He worked for Pepsi until his death from a heart attack in April 1959. He was the 4th and last husband of actress Joan Crawford (married May 10, 1955 in Las Vegas). Herbert L. Barnet, Steele's handpicked successor as chairman and CEO, appointed her to the Board of Directors. In Joan Crawford's later career, product placement for Pepsi can be seen in several films, including Strait-Jacket (1964) and Berserk! (1967) Crawford would remain on the Board of Directors of Pepsi-Cola Company until her forced retirement in 1973. The two had their ashes interred in a crypt together upon Crawford's death in 1977. They are interred in Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. His crypt marker incorrectly lists his middle initial as "M" for no explained reason.

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