Who was the real Chef Boyardee?

Sometimes, it's fun to live in the mystery. Even though one could find pictures that reveal the identities of celebrities like Daft Punk and Banksy on the internet, isn't it more interesting to leave the proverbial thread of their alter-egos dangling? I don't know about you, but I like leaving some questions unanswered. Musing about the truth with friends is infinitely more fun than lazily running to Google whenever a question pops up. However, there are a few occasions where my curiosity outweighs my desire to consult a search engine. Such is the case with Chef Boyardee.

For years, Chef Boyardee has been squatting in my pantry, rent-free, and I finally feel like it's time to figure out who he really is. Until I watched the video linked above, I thought he was a broad stereotype mascot like Uncle Ben. As it turns out, Chef Boyardee- born Ettore Boiardi- was a real guy.