The interwebs loves to point out that several of the Marlboro mans have died of smoking-related illnesses. Yes, irony is hilarious. But guess what? way way back in 1957, The Marlboro Man wore glasses and.... read books.
It seems like the current model of American machismo is as likely to have a guy burning books as much as reading them, but here's Marlboro in 1957 holding up a symbol of Yankee toughness in the form of a man who, apparently, is literate.
But wait, there's another thing. Marlboro Man was in the military - or, at least his hand was. This is more in line with the kind of image we have come to expect from mister imaginary tough guy. Just goes to show you what a complex guy a marketing tool can be. So, in what branch of the service did he do his serving? I don't recognize the tattoo at all. It's not any emblem from the USMC, or the Army, Navy or the USAF that I can find. Maybe it's a legal-safe military-looking thingy that makes you think what Marlboro wants you to think, all without ruffling the epaulets of the military brass? I dunno. Maybe one of our Alert Readers knows it. Please mention in the comments if you recognize the tattoo.
UPDATE: Thanks to Alert reader Missus Bug, we now know that the tattoo is an older version of the Navy pilot wings. Thanks, Mrs. B!
What's Marlboro Man Reading? Hard to say...
"The Deinttees of Nirdieree, by Sinsnam". Never heard of it. Must be over my head.