Comer Cottrell, Creator Of your People’s Jheri Curl, Dies At eighty two

Enlarge this imageComer Cottrell, appropriate, confers with adman Stanley Cup Jersey Jerry Metcalf in 1977.La Timeshide captiontoggle captionLos Angeles TimesComer Cottrell, proper, confers with adman Jerry Metcalf in 1977.Los angeles TimesThe 70s and 80s will be remembered by several as being the period of disco and Dynasty. But for a few of us, those yrs have been marked because of the increase of your Jheri Curl. Named for stylist Jheri Redding, the Jheri Curl (and its derivatives) was a two-step lasting method for ethnic hair that resulted inside a headful of unfastened, shiny curls. Imagine Michael Jackson in his Thriller and Off the Wall days. Or Sam Jackson’s character, Jules Winnfield, in Pulp Fiction. Later, typical black people –some figures say as lots of as 1 in 4–were in a position to put on the identical model, because of Comer Cottrell. Cottrell founded the Pro-Line Corp, a hair treatment enterprise aimed toward the African-American market place. And he died very last Friday, while in the Dallas suburb of Plano, of purely natural will cause at age eighty two. Born in Alabama, Cottrell arrived to La following service inside the Korean War. He and his brother James started off Pro-Line with $600 in addition to a damaged typewriter. Just after creating a spray-on oil to make Afros sparkle, he sooner or later produced the home variation on the Jheri Curl, which he termed the Curly Package. The seem experienced turn out to be well known due to black stars that sported the curly style, like Aside from the Jacksons–Sam and Michael, rappers Easy-E and Ice Cube wore Jheri Curls, as did R & B bad boy Rick James. Involving hours of labor and hundreds of dollars, the glimpse was available to the fabulous and solvent, but out of reach to normal people.YouTube The Curly Kit changed all that. YouTube Cottrell’s Curly Package, at about $8 a box, brought the Jheri Curl to the ma ses. (And later on it would be exported to countries in Africa and the Caribbean, along with a version for children, the Kiddie Package, would turn into a big seller.) The seem, and the oily “activator” that made the curls spring to life, became a cultural touch point, parodied in black standup routines, and, famously, during the 1988 Eddie Murphy hit “Coming to America.” (It even was used as a weapon inside the 1987 comedy, The Hollywood Shuffle. In in, a detective played by Robert Townsend interrogates reluctant homicide witne s Jheri Curl, played by Keenan Ivory Wayans, and gets him to talk by Jeff Petry Jersey slowly spilling out the precious activator until the horrified suspect cracks–and talks.) Pro-Line Corp. had two plants while in the La area, but in 1980, Cottrell moved the organization to Dallas, where he thought the climate was more favorable to busine s. When he sold Pro-Line Corp. in 2000 to cosmetics giant Alberto-Culver, the sale was reported to be between $75 and $80 million. Cottrell was active in Dallas civic and busine s life, and became the first African-American to join the Dallas Citizens’ Council, a powerful group comprised of CEO’s from the 80 largest companies in Dallas. “The whites might not have been used to men of color,” he recalled in his autobiography, Comer Cottrell: A Story That Will Inspire Future Entrepreneurs, “but they sure as hell ended up used to men of power.” And Cottrell’s conservative politics and entrepreneurial zeal made him an insider in Dallas’ elite busine s circles. The city was Cottrell’s sweet spot: “My kind of town… where money not only talks, but swaggers and brags… where profits are not a cu s word.” He was giving money away on the identical time he was making it. In 1990, he purchased the campus of Shea Weber Jersey Bishop College, a Dallas-based historically black college that lost accreditation within a funding scandal, then moved Paul Quinn College from Waco to the Bishop campus, in the succe sful effort to grow the student body. He sponsored the Mi s Collegiate African American pageant in 1989. Also in 1989, Cottrell joined George W. Bush as well as a hand-picked group of investors to purchase the Texas Rangers. He told then-wife Isabell (for the record, he’s experienced four wives) “I’m not investing in baseball. I’m investing while in the president.” (Turns out he did both: he became friends with George W. Bush, and when the group sold the Rangers, Cottrell made $3 million on his initial $500,000 investment.) Comer Cottrell continued to be active in politics and in philanthropy for the remainder of his life. A memorial service for him is planned at Rev. T. D. Jakes’ megachurch in Dallas, The Potter’s House, on Monday.