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Lonnie 'Bo' Pilgrim
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Entrepreneur
    (May 8, 1928-July 21, 2017)
    Born in Pine, Texas
    With his brother Aubrey founded Pilgrim’s Pride as a feed store (1946)
    Company became largest producer of chicken in the United States
    Net worth peaked at $1 billion
    During a debate in the Texas Senate about worker’s compensation laws, he handed out $10,000 checks on the Senate floor to eight key swing voters (1989).
    Pilgrim’s Pride recalled 27.4 million pounds of sliced poultry after seven people died from Listeria germs traced to one of their facilities; at the time, it was the largest food recall in US history (2002).
    After Pilgrim’s Pride went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, he lost control of the company to a Brazilian multinational and was forced out as CEO (2009).
    A 37-foot tall bust of him wearing a pilgrim’s hat stands outside the company’s main plaint in Pittsburg, Texas.
    He was married to Patricia Redding for 61 years.
    He taught Sunday school for over half a century,
    Partly out of concerns over a family history of heart disease, he developed a leaner chicken with less cholesterol.
    Pilgrim’s Pride was named Kentucky Fried Chicken’s ‘supplier of the year.’ (1997)

Credit: C. Fishel


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