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Barry Becher Dies at 71

1y ago
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Barry Becher, the co-creator of the classic over-the-top Ginsu knife commercials of the 1970s, and who, with his business partner Ed Valenti, helped develop television infomercial marketing, died June 22 at a hospital in Deerfield Beach, Fla. He was 71 and had complications from surgery for kidney cancer. His wife, Leslie Becher, confirmed his death. Mr. Becher (pronounced BESH-er) owned a couple of AAMCO transmission franchises in Rhode Island when he and Valenti, a TV advertising executive, teamed up to sell knives, kitchenware, jewelry and drip-free paintbrushes through two-minute TV ads. All of their products sold for an amazing, low, low price, and viewers were urged to "order now" because "operators are standing by." But wait, there's more! With their homespun commercials, Mr. Becher and Valenti built a demand for items people didn't realize they needed — until they saw the remarkable things those products could do. They were also among the first TV advertisers to use 800 numbers.