Yet still he remains, appearing in commercials as recently as 2014, albeit sporting a more modern look, and still lending his name to McDonald's children's charity - the Ronald McDonald House (which to our ears sounds like the scene of a horrible murder - "You don't want to buy that place... didn't the realtor tell you - that's the Ronald McDonald House?!").
Alas, even in his modern incarnation the alabaster skin and blood-stained mouth and chin still remain. Surely, when you really consider him, Ronald McDonald is the most terrifying and misjudged corporate mascot of them all.
Here are 16 examples of why Ronald McDonald has provided nightmare fuel to generations of junk food-loving children.