Obituaries

Carl Karcher, burger man was 90

Carl Karcher essentially grew a single hot dog cart in Los Angeles into the Carl's Jr. fast-food chain. He and his wife Margaret opened Carl's Drive-In Barbecue in Anaheim in 1945, and nine years later opened the first two Carl's Jr. restaurants in Anaheim and Brea. He died in a Fullerton hospital after being admitted for Parkinson's-related pneumonia. CBS2

And now to round out the story, from AP

Karcher, a deeply religious father of 12, was famous in the fast-food industry for his rags-to-riches story - a tale that was tainted in later years by an insider trading scandal and feuds with his board of directors that led to his eventual demise as chief executive officer.

The company and its founder grew even more estranged in recent years when Carl's Jr., seeking to woo a younger male clientele, launched a series of ads that included a scantily clad Paris Hilton washing a car and Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner, surrounded by beautiful women, expounding on the advantages of being able to enjoy a different variety of hamburger every night of the week.

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He was reviled by abortion rights activists for his contributions to anti-abortion groups and his oft-repeated story about talking a Carl's Jr. employee out of an abortion. Gay rights groups dubbed his hamburgers "bigot burgers" after Karcher supported a 1978 proposition that would have allowed school boards to fire teachers who were gay or advocated homosexuality.



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