Sunday, March 23, 2008

Who is killing America's fast food founders?

The death today of Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken founder Al Copeland marks him as the third fast food founder to fall victim to the Reaper in the first three months of 2008.

The passing of the flamboyant businessman set off alarm bells this morning in the Tabloid Baby conspiracy unit, which has been tracking necrology trends in the “Die in Threes” and other categories, and because of a sudden spike in the first weeks of the year, had already been watching the fast food industry.

The facts so far:

JANUARY: Carl’s Jr.

Carl Karcher, who parlayed a single hot dog pushcart into a chain of more than 1,000 fast-food restaurants bearing his name, dies on January 11th at the age of 90. The affable, burly entrepreneur was known to millions as the jovial television pitchman for the Carl's Jr. chain.

FEBRUARY: Fatburger

On February 2nd, The Los Angeles Times reports the death a week earlier of Lovie Yancey, who launched what eventually became the popular Fatburger chain of burger-and-fries joints. Her death at 96 in Los Angeles was attributed to pneumonia.

MARCH: Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken

Popeye’s founder Al Copeland dies on March 23rd at a clinic near Munich. He'd been diagnosed shortly before Thanksgiving with a malignant salivary gland tumor. He was 64.

APRIL: ????

We don’t make this stuff up. We just report it.


Gawker said...

Live Fast, Die Old

In January, Carl Karcher, the founder of the fast food chain Carl's Jr., died at the age of 90. In February, Lovie Yancey, the founder of Fatburger, died at the age of 96. And just yesterday, Al Copeland, the founder of Popeyes Fried Chicken, died at the age of 64. Which is not bad for a man with a lifetime diet of fried chicken! Does this mean that 2008 is a deadly year for our beloved fast food entrepreneurs? No, it means that fast food will keep you alive well past the expected time of your demise. Honor their memories with greasy meat.

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