Is Little Debbie a Real Person?

When I was in the third grade, my mom started giving me Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls to take to school to have with lunch. Meanwhile, a friend of mine (I’ll call him James to protect his identity) would often have two bagels from Dunkin’ Donuts for his lunch. He spotted these Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls and offered me a trade I couldn’t refuse: a full bagel with cream cheese for the rolls. This was an incredible deal—an entire lunch, essentially, for one dessert item. And yet, I would only take the deal about half the time. Such is the high quality of Little Debbie products.

Related: Little Debbie vs. Hostess

But while the tastiness of Little Debbie is rightly famous, the background behind the brand is less well known. Is little Debbie a real person? Let’s get right to it. The answer to this one is simple, so there’s no need to beat around the bush: Yes! Little Debbie—the namesake of the brand and the model for the iconic image that graces their products—is indeed real. 

So, who is Little Debbie? 

According to the Little Debbie website, “[Founder] O.D. [McKee] thought his granddaughter, Debbie, would be the perfect face for his delicious treats.” 

How old is Little Debbie? 

Well, as anyone who writes about this topic is legally obligated to say, Little Debbie isn’t so little anymore! See, that’s how the passage of time works. She is currently 67 years old. 

Is Little Debbie still alive?

Yes! As Little Debbie’s website explains, “Debbie is still involved with the business today! Debbie McKee-Fowler currently holds the position of Executive Vice President and serves on the McKee Foods Board of Directors.”

In fact, the Little Debbie website has a trove of interesting information about the snack brand. One tidbit I found particularly noteworthy is that the company released a 45 RPM record in 1965 featuring the “Little Debbie Song.” Let’s all sing it together, shall we? 

“Have you tried cakes and pies…Little Debbie/ Mighty sweet, wholesome treat…Little Debbie/ They’re power packed with energy…delicious flavor too/ You’ll ask how anything so good…can be so good for you/ Variety for you and me…Little Debbie/ Sure to please the family…Little Debbie.” It goes on from there, espousing ingredients like “peanut butter,” “milky chocolate,” and “fruits enticing,” and closes with a reminder that Little Debbie snacks are “the yummiest.” 

Related: The 4 Best Little Debbie Snacks According to Rhett & Link

And those iconic Swiss Cake Rolls that led to me greatly increasing my carbohydrates during third grade lunch? The Little Debbie website explains their provenance as well: “O.D. McKee took a trip to a European trade show looking for ‘the next big thing.’ The cake, a miniaturized version of a popular dessert called ‘roulade,’ was being crafted by several bakeries he toured. Once back in Tennessee, he started production on two lines and the Swiss Rolls were added to the Little Debbie line up a year later.” 

That settles it, I’m going to have to grab a box of Swiss rolls. And if you have a bagel you want to trade, let me know. I’ll consider it. 

About the Author

Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. He likes maple-flavored snacks, loves every kind of cheese, and is slowly learning to accept mushrooms.

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