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Verne Winchell

AKA Vernon Hedges Winchell, Jr.

Born: 30-Oct-1915
Birthplace: Bloomington, IL
Died: 26-Nov-2002
Location of death: Las Vegas, NV
Cause of death: Heart Failure

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Winchell's Donuts

Verne Winchell worked in a donut shop as a young man, but became a jukebox salesman and eventually opened his own jukebox store. He later worked as a car salesman, until he had saved enough money to open his own donut shop in 1948, in Temple City, California. He opened two additional locations the following year, and began selling franchises in 1961. In 1968, when Winchell's had 245 locations, the company merged with Denny's in a stock swap deal that left Winchell in charge of the donut chain. Winchell's Donuts peaked in the late 1970s with more than 1,000 locations worldwide and annual sales second only to Dunkin' Donuts. From 1972-80 Winchell was also CEO of Denny's, and that chain's business more than quadrupled under his leadership. Winchell's has closed many locations in recent decades, and now has about 175 stores, mostly in the American southwest and midwest. Winchell retired in 1984, and died in 2002. Among friends, his preferred nickname was "Donut King".

Father: Vernon Hedges Winchell (b. 12-Jul-1887, d. 16-Dec-1963)
Sister: Barbara Winchell Ogden
Sister: Eloise Winchell Wills
Wife: Joan Winchell (horse breeder, m. 1965)
Daughter: Christina Winchell-Harriis
Daughter: Linda Winchell Schumacher
Son: Richard Winchell
Son: Ronald Winchell (horse breeder)

    High School: Alhambra High School, Alhambra, CA
    University: BS Business Administration, Pasadena City College

    Winchell's Donut House Founder & President (1948-84)
    Denny's Chairman & CEO (1972-80)
    Member of the Board of Winchell's Donut House (1948-84)
    Member of the Board of Denny's (1968-84)
    Friends of Giuliani Exploratory Committee

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