Rumsfeld, spicy coated peanut model?

Updated
 
Peanut label featuring the former Secretary of Defense during a 1974 visit to Japan.
Peanut label featuring the former Secretary of Defense during a 1974 visit to Japan.
TIME.com

If you’ve recently been to the United Kingdom and came across Tyrrell’s Spicy Coated Peanuts packets featuring a man balancing a chopstick on his lips, you may be surprised to learn that that man is none other than America’s former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. And surely no one would blame you for failing to recognize him, considering it’s not common for world leaders to appear on snack labels. Our Rummy is special.

The photographer who captured the shot, David Hume Kennerly, confirmed Rumsfeld was, in fact, the man with the chopstick next to the Geisha.

At the time of the photo, Rumsfeld, then the White House Chief of Staff, was accompanying President Ford to Japan in 1974. He is shown playing a Japanese parlor game.

The former Secretary of Defense was unaware of the peanut packaging until TIME informed his people.

Rumsfeld’s aide Keith Urbahn responded, “We aren’t looking for any royalties, though I’m sure Mr Rumsfeld would be delighted to get a box of peanuts. Better yet, the company might send a few boxes to our troops serving abroad.”

And why did the snack food manufacturer choose this pic to sell “wasabi-flavored treats” in the first place? To Oliver Rudgard, Tyrrell’s Marketing Director, “this image was in line with” the company’s “light-hearted and slightly eccentric view on life.” Eccentric, indeed.

— By Skivjana Neza

Donald Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld, spicy coated peanut model?

Updated