Died: May 25, 2008
Best Known as: American potato farmer and billionaire
Deathplace: Boise, Idaho
Jack Simplot developed the first frozen French fry. He went from a boy of 14 with $80 in his pocket to a tycoon with a net worth of over three billion dollars at the time of his death, proving that the American Dream exists. Simplot grew up in a log cabin and dropped out of high school at 14 years old. He made his fortune potato farming and building the largest potato dehydrating plant in the world. Simplot supplied American soldiers with dehydrated vegetables during World War II and later helped make McDonald’s an empire by supplying all of their French fries. Simplot’s empire expanded from potato farming to include cattle farming, fertilizer, oil, cattle feed, seed, and ski resorts. In 2007, Simplot became the 89th richest American in Forbes magazine’s list.