Wendy's International Chairman James Near, 58, died Monday after suffering a heart attack in Atlanta, where he was attending the Olympic Games. Mr. Near worked more than 21 years at Wendy's, starting as a franchisee, and rejoined the company in 1986 as president-CEO. In January, 1995, he relinquished day-to-day operations to current President-CEO Gordon Teter. "He was a great man and my best friend," Founder and Senior Chairman Dave Thomas, said of Mr. Near. "He knew more about restaurants than anyone else I know."