Don Tyson, Son of Tyson Foods Founder, Dies at 80

Former Chairman and CEO Worked at Poultry Producer Until His Retirement in 1995

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CHICAGO ( -- Don Tyson, former chairman-CEO of poultry giant Tyson Foods and the son of the company's founder, died today at the age of 80.

Kansas-born Mr. Tyson worked with his father John Tyson beginning in the 1950s to grow the business, which was then known as Tyson Feed and Hatchery. Don Tyson was named president of the newly named Tyson Foods in 1966 and became chairman-CEO in 1967 after his father was killed in a car-train accident. He served as president until stepping down in 1983 and officially retired in 1995, giving up his chairman's role in the company, which is the world's largest poultry producer.

Still, Don Tyson continued to counsel the company, including when Tyson acquired IBP in 2001, a move that transformed company into the world's largest beef processor and second-largest pork processor, according to the company.

"Don was known by all to work hard, but also to play hard," Tyson Foods said in the statement. "He was famous the world over for his 'No Bad Days' outlook on life, and well known for telling everyone that, 'I don't have time to have a bad time.'"

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