Sunday, May 25, 2008
J. R. Simplot, french fry “king” & founder of the J. R. Simplot Company, an agricultural supplier specializing in potato products has died today in Boise, Idaho. He was 99 years old.
He was born John Richard “Jack” Simplot on January 4, 1909 in Dubuque, Iowa, United States. By World War II, the J. R. Simplot Company had become the largest shipper of fresh potatoes in the nation. By the early 1960s it was the primary supplier of french fries to McDonald’s; by 2005 it supplied more than half of all french fries for the fast food chain. Simplot also produced fertilizers for agriculture.
In 1961, Simplot financed the Brundage Mountain ski area area near McCall, two hours north of Boise. The Simplot Company sold its 50% interest in Brundage in April 2006 to the longtime co-owner, the DeBoer family.
Simplot is survived by his wife, Esther.