Iowa Public Television


Chicken King Frank Perdue Dies

posted on April 1, 2005

Frank Perdue, who transformed a backyard egg business into one of the nations largest food companies, died this week at 84.

Perdue, a consummate entrepreneur and workaholic, built Perdue Farms into a poultry powerhouse by becoming a television pitchman for his product using the slogan it takes a tough man to make a tender chicken. His company was also one of the first to advertise chickens by brand.

Perdue faced criticism for working to curtail union activity at company plants and admitted that he sought help from New York mafia bosses to fight organized labor. Perdue Farms also has been criticized by workers suffering from repetitive motion injuries and by animal rights activists.


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