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Joe Rogers Sr. Dies: Waffle House Co-founder Was 97

Image: Joe Rogers Sr. Dies: Waffle House Co-founder Was 97

Waffle House co-founder Joseph Wilson Rogers Sr., sits in his office in the Waffle House headquarters in Norcross, Georgia, on July 26, 2005. (AP Photo/Ric Feld, File)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Mar 2017 07:19 PM

Joe Rogers Sr., co-founder of the Waffle House chain of restaurants with Tom Forkner, died Friday at age 97.

Rogers was born in Jackson, Tennessee, and lived through the Great Depression as a child. His father was a railroad worker, and when he was laid off, Rogers delivered newspapers and laundry to help the family make ends meet, according to The Associated Press.

Rogers joined the military and became a captain during World War II. After the war, he worked as a short order cook for Toddle House in Connecticut and was soon promoted to regional manager, the AP reported.

Eventually, Rogers moved to Atlanta and co-founded the first Waffle House restaurant, which soon grew to 400 locations. Currently, there are 1,900 Waffle House locations.

Rogers remained involved in the Georgia-based business until a few years ago, telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I’m not an executive, I’m a waffle cook,” the AP reported.

Rogers often said, “We’re not in the restaurant business, we’re in the people business,” NPR reported. He also said in his autobiography that his father taught him to always smile at people so they would be happy to see him.

Rogers is survived by his wife Ruth. Co-founder Forkner is 99.

Twitter was full of condolences (and jokes) for the Waffle House magnate.

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Joe Rogers Sr., co-founder of the Waffle House chain of restaurants with Tom Forkner, died Friday at age 97.
joe rogers sr, waffle house, founder, dies
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2017-19-07
Tuesday, 07 Mar 2017 07:19 PM
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