Alfred Steele

Alfred Nu Steele (April 24, 1900 – April 19, 1959) was an American soft drink businessman

Alfred Nu Steele
Born(1900-04-24)April 24, 1900
DiedApril 19, 1959(1959-04-19) (aged 58)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
OccupationCEO of Pepsi-Cola
(m. 1955)

Life and careerEdit

He graduated from Northwestern University in 1923, where he played football, and became an ad executive. He first worked for The Coca-Cola Company, as vice president of marketing.[1]

He became the CEO of the Pepsi-Cola Company in 1949. Under his management, sales tripled between 1955 and 1957. He reduced the sugar content of Pepsi products and introduced them to developing countries. Under Steele's leadership, Pepsi built a new headquarters at 500 Park Avenue in New York City.[2] He worked for Pepsi until his death from a heart attack in April 1959, five days shy of his 59th birthday.

He was the fourth and last husband of actress Joan Crawford (married May 10, 1955, in Las Vegas).[3] Herbert L. Barnet, Steele's handpicked successor as chairman and CEO, appointed her to the board of directors. In Joan Crawford's later career, product placement for Pepsi was included in several films, including Strait-Jacket (1964) and Berserk! (1967). Crawford would remain on the Board of Directors of the Pepsi-Cola Company until 1973. The two had their ashes interred in a crypt together upon Crawford's death in 1977. They are interred in Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. His crypt marker incorrectly lists his middle initial as "M" for no explained reason.

Steele was portrayed by Harry Goz in the 1981 film Mommie Dearest.[4]


  1. ^ Towers, Andrea (March 5, 2017). "What Happened To Alfred Steele? Joan Crawford's Husband Had A Tragic Passing". Bustle. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "Pepsi-Co Building" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. June 20, 1995. p. 3. Retrieved 2021-04-21.
  3. ^ Denby, David (January 3, 2011). "Escape Artist: The Case for Joan Crawfod". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  4. ^ "Harry Goz". British Film Institute. Retrieved January 24, 2018.