(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) Donald John Tyson, known to everyone as “Don,” son of Tyson Foods, Inc. founder John W. Tyson, and father of current company Chairman John H. Tyson, passed away today, January 6, 2011, at the age of 80, after a brief illness. He was the former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc., a company he led through phenomenal growth in the 1970s and 1980s.
Don Tyson was born on April 21, 1930 in Olathe, Kansas, the son of John W. and Mildred Tyson. The family moved to Springdale, Arkansas in 1931 to enable Mr. Tyson to develop his business of hauling produce from Northwest Arkansas to the larger markets in the Midwest such as Kansas City, St. Louis and Chicago. By the time Don Tyson was a teenager his father had started hauling chickens to those same markets and had also become involved in other aspects of the poultry business.
“Don was known by all to work hard, but also to play hard,” Tyson President and Chief Executive Officer Donnie Smith said in a 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.’ Don’s passing will be mourned by all who knew him, especially his family, his countless friends, and business leaders and associates in Arkansas, across the country and around the world.” Read more.