He died at the age of 90 in Colorado Springs.

Robert Norris, 90, better known as the original "Marlboro Man", has passed away.

Born on April 10, 1929, in Chicago, Norris came from a family in the financial business, but soon found himself a love of ranching. This, and his friendship with legendary actor John Wayne, ultimately led to him landing the role in the cigarette commercials, a role that helped launch a 12-year career. He starred in television and print ads, with his Colorado ranch acting as the backdrop. Eventually, though, Norris quit the role in fear of setting a poor example for his children.

The Tee Cross Website posted a tribute to Norris, describing him as "the real deal".

A philanthropist and supporter of his local communities, Norris had many interests in the horse and cattle business, but also had a love for theater and the arts and served many roles in both arenas. He was a very big part of the Colorado community.

Also a family man, he raised his children with his wife, Jane, on their ranch in Colorado, which he maintained until just a couple of years ago. As the tribute to him says, "He never sold his saddle. He knew he’d need it when it was time to ride into the sunset."

Norris died on November 3, 2019, in hospice care in Colorado Springs. A celebration of his life was held on Friday, November 8. He is survived by his four children, 13 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren. Jane preceded him in death in 2016.

The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Roundup for Autism or to TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), which benefits families of fallen veterans.

Our deepest condolences go out to the Norris family as they celebrate Robert's life. Please share your sympathies and tributes in the comments.