John Richard (J.R.) Simplot, who built one of America's most influential food businesses, passed away recently at age 99. His privately owned firm, JR Simplot Co., pioneered the frozen French fry as one of the food industry's landmark convenience items, but Simplot was a visionary and innovator in many other ways as well. Most prominently, he became a minority partner in computer chip maker Micron Corp. when it was starting up in 1980, providing key financing in the firm's early years. ...

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